Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail

Ozell Sutton (center) with family members of posthumous Honoree James H. Penick at the 2013 Civil Rights Heritage Commemoration ceremony.

Ozell Sutton (center) with family members of posthumous Honoree James H. Penick at the 2013 Civil Rights Heritage Commemoration ceremony.

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.

2013 Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Commemoration

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.

Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine and her Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Marker

Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine poses beside the marker dedicated to her at the 2nd Annual Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Commemoration in July 2012.

2012 Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Honorees

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

Daisy Bates

L.C. Bates

Christopher Mercer Jr.

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.

Frank James Lupper's Marker on the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail

The heritage marker of Frank James Lupper, co-founder of Arkansas Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail.

1961 Freedom Riders
Rev. Benjamin Elton Cox
Bliss Ann Malone
John Curtis Raines
Annie Lumpkin
Janet Reinitz

Arkansas Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Frank James
Frank James Lupper
Worth Long
Bill Hansen
Thomas Robinson