Arkansas Civil Rights

Elizabeth Eckford
National Park Service/ Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A bench now on display across from Little Rock’s Central High School commemorates one key moment from the school’s desegregation. It is a replica of one Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine sat on in 1957 after being kept from entering the school by national guardsmen.

Tuesday’s unveiling coincided with the 61st anniversary of the event.

Central High School’s Memory Project aims to encourage students to remember past events of the high school and to keep the memory of the Civil Rights Movement alive.

David Monteith / KUAR News

Little Rock’s Central High School is one of over 130 locations on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail that spans 14 states.

Lee Sentell, the director of the Alabama Tourism Department, has been a leader in developing the trail. Sentell spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service Monday.

“This is a process that started indirectly about 15 years ago,” said Sentell. “President Obama and the director of the National Park Service decided there needed to be more diversity in our national parks and in our nominations for World Heritage sites.”

Dick Marsico / New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Two events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr will be held in Little Rock Wednesday.

Governor Asa Hutchinson plans to make comments at the Capitol at 10 a.m. At 5 p.m., a candlelight vigil is being hosted at the Little Rock Central High National Historic Site. According to David Kilton, with the National Park Service, the milestone anniversary has helped bolster attendance, which had already been on the rise in recent months.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

One year after the Women's March drew thousands to the streets nationwide, including in Arkansas, demonstrators again made the journey to the Arkansas State Capitol to let their voices be heard. Though this year's March On, Arkansas! March to the Polls and ensuing Rally for Reproductive Justice had numerous callbacks to the previous march, including many signature pink hats, there was a marked shift in tone. Legislators, candidates and community organizers urged the public to channel their dissatisfaction into votes for progressive politics. 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Little Rock Central High School is now joining five other sites across the city as part of a national project highlighting historically significant locations in the civil rights era.

The U.S. Civil Rights Trail includes over 100 museums, churches, and other landmarks across 14 states and Washington, D.C. that played a role in the struggle for equal rights for African-Americans in the 1950s and 60s.

HB 1228 religious freedom gay rights
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

For many, 2017 was a time of historic support for the rights of LGBTQ people. But, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, says more can be done to improve equality in  Arkansans.

David Monteith / KUAR

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and Habitat for Humanity joined forces Monday for a day of renovation at the former home of Daisy Bates in Little Rock to mark the beginning of a week of events leading up to the  national King holiday on January 15.

While volunteers Humanity fixed up the outside of the house, inside, museum board member Mary Hardin gave tours of the civil rights landmark.

Roy Reed
AETN

An Arkansas-born journalist and author who covered one of the key events of the civil rights era has died.

Roy Reed died Sunday night at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, according to his wife, Norma Reed. He was 87.

Roy Reed reported on the civil rights movement during the 1960s for the New York Times and in 1965 witnessed what became known as "Bloody Sunday" when police and others beat black marchers in Selma, Alabama.

Jacob Scott Goodwin
Lonoke County Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas man charged in the beating of a black man at the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville has been extradited from Lonoke County jail to Virginia. 22-year old Jacob Scott Goodwin of Ward is charged with maliciously wounding DeAndre Harris along with two other men in a parking garage. Harris himself was also charged with assault.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley says they’ve been holding Goodwin since October 10th.

Example of someone holding a chicken by its feet in a processing plant.
Image via U.S. Department of Defense

The ACLU of Arkansas is investigating claims that an organization in Oklahoma known as Christian Alcoholics and Addicts In Recover (CAAIR) "is operating forced labor camps disguised as rehabilitation centers", according to a press release.

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