This year’s honorees on the UA Little Rock Joel E. Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity’s award-winning Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail, located in downtown Little Rock, all represent the theme of Economic Advancement:
- William Wallace Andrews, a prominent black leader and entrepreneur in Little Rock before and after the Civil War
- Scott Winfield Bond, a successful landowner, farmer and businessman in the Arkansas Delta and one of Arkansas’s wealthiest African Americans during the period before the New Deal in the 1930s
- John Edward Bush, co-founder of the Mosaic Templars of America, a fraternal organization that expanded to 26 states and six foreign countries between the 1880s and 1930s. He was also chair of the Arkansas Republican Party.
- Robert Lee Hill, founder of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America, which organized in the Arkansas Delta to gain fair wages for sharecroppers after World War I.
- John Harold Johnson built the largest black publishing company in the world, producing titles such as Ebony and Jet magazines.
- Walter “Wiley” Jones, one of the wealthiest African Americans in the South from his various business endeavors in late 19th century Pine Bluff.
- Chester W. Keatts, co-founder of the Mosaic Templars of America, a fraternal organization that expanded to 26 states and six foreign countries between the 1880s and 1930s.
- Josephine Irvin Harris Pankey, a successful real estate developer who accumulated large tracts of land in West Little Rock during the age of segregation.
- William “Sonny” Walker, head of the Arkansas Office of Economic Opportunity, which coordinated the state’s war on poverty efforts in the 1960s
- Sue Cowan Williams, an English teacher at Dunbar High School who successfully sued the school district for equal pay with white teachers during the 1940s
You can find out more about this year’s Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail honorees when all the new inductees are announced on Wednesday, February 1, at noon, in the Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock. The program, co-sponsored by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Clinton School of Public Service, will also feature performances of music of the civil rights movement. The event is free and open to the public.