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.
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, Arthur Phillips, Rev. Negail Riley, Bert Strauss, Ozell Sutton, Dr. William H. Townsend, Dr. Evangeline Upshur, and B. Finley Vinson.
1957 Central High School Desegregation
The Little Rock Nine: Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts,¬†Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and 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