The UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity hosted a 50th anniversary commemorative event to honor and reflect upon the 1961 Freedom Rides on the grounds of the Old State House Museum 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10, 2011. A gospel choir singing songs from the movement began performing at 1:30 p.m.
Freedom Rider John Curtis Raines along with family members of the late Benjamin Elton Cox were in attendance.
The UALR Department of History hosted the symposium “Sit-Ins, Freedom Rides, and Beyond: Direct Action and Civil Rights in 1960s Arkansas” Saturday, July 9, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501 West 9th Street. Read more about the symposium.
Both events were free and open to the public.
Freedom Rides Commemorative Plaque Unveiling
The plaque marks the location of the former Trailways bus station where the Freedom Riders arrived July 10, 1961.
Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Ribbon Cutting
Names of Arkansas civil rights activists will be placed on sidewalk markers from Markham Street to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.
Address from Freedom Riders and Dignitaries
Freedom Rider John Curtis Raines along with family members of the late Benjamin Elton Cox appeared along with members of the Arkansas Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (ARSNCC).
Gospel Choir Performance by United Voices of Gaines Street Baptist Church and Artists United
To honor the importance and impact of music during the Freedom Rides and the Civil Rights Movement, the United Voices of Gaines Street Baptist Church and Artists United directed by Steven Young performed many of the soul-stirring songs sung by the Freedom Riders throughout their experiences while traveling. Listen to a music sampling.