LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (January 31, 2024) – In honor of Black History Month, the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is hosting a series of events that highlight the significance of the month and celebrate the contributions of the Black community.
On February 1, 2024, LRCVB employees will embark on an enlightening visit to the Daisy L. Gatson Bates House National Historic Place in Little Rock. This educational tour aims to deepen our team's understanding of the rich history embedded in our city.
Bates was an immensely important figure in the context of Little Rock, particularly during the pivotal years of the Civil Rights Movement. As a key civil rights activist and journalist, she played a central role in the fight against racial segregation in education.
Bates was the president of the Arkansas branch of the NAACP and a prominent advocate for the integration of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. She provided crucial leadership and support to the "Little Rock Nine," a group of African American students attempting to enroll in the previously all-white Central High.
Despite facing immense hostility and violence, Bates persisted in her efforts to break down racial barriers in education, making a lasting impact on the struggle for civil rights in Little Rock and beyond.
LRCVB Vice President for Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement Kasey Summerville expressed enthusiasm about this tour, stating, "Our team appreciates the opportunity to visit such an important location in our city's history. Many of us are familiar with the ‘Little Rock Nine,’ but not all of us are fully aware of the role Daisy Bates played in their story. The tour is part of LRCVB’s effort to Know the Story. Tell the Story.”
After the tour, LRCVB staff will attend a presentation on historic West Ninth Street at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. The area's history originates as simple log cabins in 1863. Renamed from West Hazel Street to West Ninth Street in 1870, the five-block section along the street, between Broadway and Chester, became the focal point of the Black business district.
Later in the month the LRCVB will host Sip, See, and Savor: Celebrating Black History in Little Rock on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Taking place from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC), the tourism industry event will feature Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and live entertainment.
In addition to enjoying live music, attendees at the event can sample food and drink and tour the MTCC’s newest exhibition celebrating Arkansas African American history and culture. The event is free, and interested individuals can RSVP via email to email@example.com.
“This event will provide a truly enriching experience for everyone involved,” Summerville said. “We are sharing our appreciation for the diverse makeup of our city.”
For more information about Little Rock’s black history and culture, please visit https://www.littlerock.com/things-to-do/black-culture/history-culture/.
About the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Little Rock, charged with marketing and selling the city as a meeting, sports and leisure travel destination. The LRCVB also manages the Statehouse Convention Center, Robinson Center, River Market and multiple parking facilities. For more information, visit www.littlerock.com.