UCA hosts 'Imagine if Buildings Could Talk' bus tours

Special bus tour stops at several historic Little Rock sites

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The University of Central Arkansas is teaming up with the city and Little Rock Central High School ahead of the many events commemorating this year's 60th Desegregation Anniversary.

Saturday kicked off a special bus tour around town visiting several key sites. Not only do these bus tours stop at sites that hold significance to the story of the Little Rock Nine, but riders also get a glimpse at other historically relevant places particularly for the African American community.

“We're hoping that people who go on this tour will get a little sense of the experience of the Little Rock Nine,” said Kylee Cole, a graduate of UCA.

Organizers hope these interpretive bus tours provide an up close, more realistic, look at history.

“We are hoping to move beyond just throwing facts at people. We want people to really connect to the stops we're making and the events that happened at those stops,” Cole said.

She helped put the event together. She’s excited that people from all over Arkansas have come to ride along and hear the impact 1957 had on Little Rock, the country, and the entire world.

“They're going to see the Magnolia Filling Station that's been restored and get a special glimpse of Central High that you wouldn't get if you just drove by on a normal day,” she added.

Guests also visit Philander Smith College, Dunbar Junior-Senior High School, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Historic District, the home of Ernest Green (one of The Little Rock Nine) and the home of Daisy L. Gatson Bates.

“People are actually able to go inside. It's been fully restored to its 1950’s glory, so that's going to be a really special stop on this tour,” said Cole.

Current Central High School students in the Writeous Poets group are also taking part in these tours by reciting personal poems along the way. Riders get to hear their view on The Little Rock Nine.

Tours continue through Sunday. Click here for a schedule. 

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