The new Arkansas Civil Rights History Audio Tour was launched in November 2015. Produced by the City of Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock allows the many places and stories of the City’s Civil Rights history to come to life an interactive tour. This month, during Black History Month, the Culture Vulture looks at some of the stops on this tour which focus on African American history.
In September 1957, Central High School was at the center of international attention when Gov. Orval E. Faubus ordered the National Guard to prevent nine black students from attending. President Dwight D. Eisenhower later federalized the National Guard and sent in federal troops to escort the students to class. The school became a crucial battleground in the struggle for civil rights. Dramatic media images of the conflict seared themselves into public memory.
The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and Visitor Center opened in September 2007 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the school’s desegregation. The interactive displays include interviews with the Little Rock Nine and historic video clips. The Center presents a broad view of civil and human rights struggles in the United States and around the world. Central High School is the only functioning high school in the United States to be located within the boundary of a national historic site.
The app, funded by a generous grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council, was a collaboration among UALR’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity, the City of Little Rock, the Mayor’s Tourism Commission, and KUAR, UALR’s public radio station, with assistance from the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.