It’s been one year since the U.S. Civil Rights Trail debuted January 15, 2018 coinciding with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) and the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism (ADPT), in partnership with the Alabama Department of Tourism and Travel South USA, announced the first-ever U.S. Civil Rights Trail featuring more than 100 sites across 14 states and the District of Columbia, allowing visitors to witness the destinations and landmarks that defined the settings of the American civil rights story. This collection of churches, courthouses, schools and museums played a pivotal role in advancing social justice in the 1950s and 1960s, shifting the course of history.
Little Rock is home to six U.S. Civil Rights sites, each one instrumental in the fight for equality. They include:
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Walk in the footsteps of the “Little Rock Nine,” and learn how nine brave students broke through racial barriers, and successfully integrated this still functioning school. The property houses a civil rights museum and offers National Park Ranger-led tours of the school.
Standing on the state capitol grounds are nine bronze statues depicting the “Little Rock Nine” students. All nine face the governor’s office windows serving as a “Testament” to remind him/her to always do what is morally right rather than politically expedient.
Daisy Bates Home
Daisy Gatson Bates was a mentor to the “Little Rock Nine.” She guided them, defended them, and sheltered them. Her home served as central headquarters for meetings and solace.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
Located in the historic Ninth Street District, once known as Little Rock’s “Little Harlem,” this museum celebrates African-American entrepreneurs, innovators and fraternal organizations. Exhibits highlight spirit, culture, struggles and triumph.
William J. Clinton Presidential Center
President Clinton was, and is, a strong supporter and fighter for equal rights. He maintains a close relationship with the eight surviving members of the “Little Rock Nine.” Library exhibits document his efforts to make Little Rock Central High School a national park site, his awarding them the Congressional Medal of Honor, and more.
Arkansas Civil Rights History Tour
Discover the vibrant and diverse communities in Little Rock is home to more than 35 sites that help tell the stories of the struggle for ethnic and racial equality in Arkansas from the early 1800s to the present. Download the APP and visit them all.