Central High School’s Memory Project students, the National Park Service, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and other community leaders have combined to begin work on a commemorative bench to honor Little Rock Nine member Elizabeth Eckford
The bench will be a replica of the original that Eckford retreated to on Sept. 4, 1957, when the National Guard blocked the Little Rock Nine from desegregating Central High School. Eckford’s heckling by a mob, both on the way to school and as she sat on the bench, were captured in iconic photographs.
The photograph of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford walking alone through a hostile mob at Central High in 1957 remains one of the most memorable moments of the civil rights movement and in Arkansas history.
As part of the project, a mobile app will be developed for the students’ audio walking tour of eyewitness accounts, which the Memory Project has been compiling. Students and partners will also develop a StoryCorps recording booth for interviews and student podcasts. Signage and landscaping will also be part of the project.
To support the project, make a tax-deductible check payable to the Central High Museum, Inc., and mail to:
Little Rock Central National Historic Site
2120 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive
Little Rock, AR 72202
Partners in the project include the Bullock Temple C.M.E; Central High and its East Lab; the Little Rock School District; the city of Little Rock; the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies; the Good Earth Garden Center; Friends of Central High Museum Inc., Home Depot, Little Rock Club 99 and other Rotary Clubs; Pam Brown Courtney and Dr. Willis Courtney, the Clinton School of Public Service; Unity in the Community; and others.