The Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail was created to acknowledge the sacrifices and achievements made by those who have fought for racial justice in our state. Our hope is to raise awareness for Arkansas citizens about the rich and important Civil Rights legacy here in Little Rock, often overlooked by historians of the era.
As a permanent reminder of this Civil Rights moment in Little Rock’s history, new names will be nominated and added each year during a public ceremony, commemorating additional individuals who have worked toward equality for all in Arkansas
The first ten honorees were the 1961 Little Rock Freedom Riders and sit-in demonstrators from the 1960s during the 50th anniversary of The Freedom Riders. We also unveiled a commemorative plaque at the site of the old Trailways Bus Station (Louisiana and Markham), where the Freedom Riders arrived in 1961.
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.
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; Civil rights activist, Daisy Bates, Civil Rights advocate and journalist, L.C. Bates; and former NAACP field secretary and adviser, Attorney Christopher Mercer Jr.
Freedom Riders Rev. Benjamin Elton Cox, Bliss Ann Malone, John Curtis Raines, Annie Lumpkin, and Janet Reinitz and sit-in demonstrators Frank James, Frank James Lupper, Worth Long, Bill Hansen, and Thomas Robinson.