Black History & Culture

When most people think of Little Rock, they think of Central High School and the desegregation crisis of 1957, and they do so for good reason.

Our History

 

Little Rock is no stranger to the changing tide of history and its power to shape a community. When most people think of Little Rock, they think of Central High School and the desegregation crisis of 1957, and they do so for good reason. The story of the Little Rock Nine is one of courage in the face of fear and righteousness in the wake of hate; a story that still, to this day, guides our city on the path to justice.

 

But our history didn’t begin in 1957, nor did our progress stop there. As Little Rock readies to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2022, we reflect on the ways our Black residents have helped shape our community into the modern and thriving city it is.

 

Today, Little Rock’s historic civil rights sites are a backbone of the community. Six of these sites are included on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, on which Little Rock is considered a “Top 10” destination. They dot the city, offering tangible connections to the past. Little Rock’s dining scene, widely acclaimed as one of the best in the South, is pillared by a bevy of Black-owned restaurants that can trace their history of service back not just decades but generations. Most notable of these is Lassis Inn, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant where guests can sit in the same booths as the students who first desegregated Central High School.

 

 

Little Rock Central High NHS-embracing the future


In 2010, Little Rock became a majority-minority city, a trend that is reflected at all levels of city leadership. Little Rock now has a more diverse slate of elected leaders than at any time. From the days of the indigenous Caddo, Osage, and Quapaw peoples to today, Little Rock is a city built on the intersection of our shared histories, and together those histories form the foundation of our community – a community that is the perfect place for your next vacation.

Little Rock's signature bridges lit gold, green and red for Juneteenth.

Little Rock's downtown bridges lit red, green, and gold to celebrate Juneteenth.     

Our Culture

 

In Little Rock, we know that history must never be forgotten and that it must be remembered in the correct context. That’s why, in June 2020, the City of Little Rock removed all Confederate statues and memorials from city parks.

 

The diverse population that calls Little Rock home helps make it a progressive destination full of things to do for all walks of life. No matter when you visit Little Rock, you’ll find our diversity being celebrated at any number of attractions, museums, festivals and more. From Juneteenth to the Jewish Food and Culture Festival, St. Patrick’s Day to Pride Fest, you’ll quickly find that even on this so-called little rock, there’s plenty of room for you.

Local Resources

 

Little Rock is a city built for success. That’s why so many organizations that are dedicated to strengthening minority businesses and empowering families and communities are headquartered in Little Rock.

 

Here are a few of these organizations – you may even recognize a few familiar names.


Explore Little Rock