The Delta Civil Rights Legacy Trail delivers 22 short, powerful video stories about people and places with Pine Bluff connections who figured large in the Civil Rights movement. “Pine Bluff boasts credentials on par with Selma, Little Rock, and Montgomery,” said Sheri Storie, Executive Director of Explore Pine Bluff. “Pine Bluff was the site of boycotts, sit-ins, demonstrations, and bombings as African Americans demanded an end to segregated public facilities and jobs in the early 1960s.”
The Delta Civil Rights Legacy Trail includes segments dedicated to attorneys Harold Flowers, Wiley Branton, and Leo Branton, who played prominent roles in groundbreaking cases like the Little Rock Central High crisis, the integration of the University of Arkansas Law School, and the drive to register black voters. Judge George Howard, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Black Panther Bobby Hutton, all key figures in the fight for equality, are also featured, along with Paul Greenberg, Dick Gregory, Delores Jean York, George Edmund Haynes, Sarah E. Howard, William Levan Sherrill, James Nabrit, Jr., and Vernon Jordan, Jr. One segment explains the groundbreaking psychological research performed by the husband and wife team of Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, research that was ultimately presented before the U.S. Supreme Court.
People aren’t the only stars of the show. The Delta Civil Rights Legacy Trail also tells the stories of places in Pine Bluff that served as backdrops for history, including the UAPB/AM&N Freedom House, the Missouri Pacific/Greyhound Bus Station, Saint James United Methodist Church, the Woolworth’s Store, McDonald’s Restaurant, the Jefferson County Courthouse, the Williams Building, and more.
“Every one of these stories is riveting, but most of them have gone untold until now,” Sheri explained. “Thanks to the efforts of Jimmy Cunningham, Explore Pine Bluff’s Interpretive Coordinator, we are finally able to bring this history to anyone with a smart phone or digital device.”
Sheri noted that more Civil Rights-related digital historical products will be added to ExplorePineBluff.com, including an in-depth video docu-series relaying incredible, mostly untold Civil Rights and freedom stories, and a virtual museum which will provide even more in-depth coverage of Pine Bluff’s connection to Civil Rights history.
“Until it’s safe to travel again, Explore Pine Bluff is committed to providing educational and informative online experiences,” added Sheri. “These stories deserve wider recognition and that’s what we’re giving them.”
Access the Delta Civil Rights Legacy Trail at https://www.explorepinebluff.com/the-delta-civil-rights-legacy-trail.