The Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail was created to acknowledge the sacrifices and achievements made by those who have fought for racial justice in the state. Our goal is to raise awareness about the rich and important civil rights legacy here in Arkansas and honor those who have contributed to obtaining equal rights for all in the state.
As a permanent reminder of the civil rights movement in Arkansas history, additional markers will be added to the trail each year during a public commemoration ceremony.
The Heritage Trail begins at the Old State House and stretches to the front of the Statehouse Convention Center on Markham Street. Eventually the heritage tail will extend to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park and beyond.
1963 Desegregation of Downtown Little Rock’s Businesses
Eleven individuals from the Council on Community Affairs, Downtown Negotiating Committee, and Philander Smith College were honored for their role in the desegregation of downtown retail businesses and restaurants in Little Rock. The 2013 honorees are:
Dr. Garman P. Freeman
Dr. Morris A. Jackson
William Starr Mitchell
James H. Penick
Rev. Negail Riley
Dr. William H. Townsend
Dr. Evangeline Upshur
B. Finley Vinson
1957 Central High School Desegregation
The Little Rock Nine:
Carlotta Walls LaNier
Gloria Ray Karlmark
Melba Pattillo Beals
2011 Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Honorees
The first ten honorees were the Little Rock Freedom Riders and sit-in demonstrators from the 1960s. They were recognized during the 50th anniversary celebration of The Freedom Riders arrival in Little Rock. A commemorative plaque was also unveiled at the site of the old Trailways Bus Station (Louisiana and Markham), where the Freedom Riders arrived in 1961.
1961 Freedom Riders
Rev. Benjamin Elton Cox
Bliss Ann Malone
John Curtis Raines
Arkansas Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Frank James Lupper