Civil Rights Movement in Alabama
50 years ago the most transformative year in Birmingham, Alabama history began. By the end of 1963 events in Birmingham would leave an indelible mark on history.
1963 marks the year the city received worldwide attention for its racial intolerance. And now, in 2013, Birmingham observes the 50th anniversary in the civil rights movement with the launch of 50 Years Forward, and commemorate the struggle that served to change Birmingham, Alabama; the United States and the world.
A social media campaign for the commemoration has launched with Twitter, @50YearsForward, as well as a 50 Years Forward Facebook page. The city has also put banners up around the town noting the commemoration, more information, and has launched a website 50YearsForward.com dedicated to coverage of events in the city. Download the Alabama Civil Rights Trail App where you can walk in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movement by exploring the people, places and events that brought Alabama into the international spotlight and changed the course of history.
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Alabama was the main stage for the civil rights movement’s actions. During the 1950s and 60s, civil rights activists fought for racial justice across the South. Today, many of those battlegrounds have evolved into state-of-the-art museums that explain the stories within the movement.
Civil Rights in Selma, Alabama
Alabama Cities such as Selma and Birmingham all staged headline-grabbing freedom marches and rallies. Midway along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail on U.S. Highway 80 in Hayneville lies the Lowndes County Interpretive Center. This National Park Service facility commemorates the location where marchers camped after being forced from their homes for attempting to register to vote. In Selma, you can also walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge where marchers were attacked in 1965 and then step inside the National Voting Rights Museum to learn about the movement's "foot soldiers."
Civil Rights in Montgomery, Alabama
The Civil Rights Memorial Center in Alabama’s Capital City, Montgomery, contains exhibits depicting momentous events that occurred there. It explains how 40 activists died in the South between 1955 and 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. A Wall of Tolerance allows visitors to sign a pledge to promote racial justice. Montgomery is also home to the Rosa Parks Museum, the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where King preached and the Dexter Parsonage Museum. All are within a few blocks of the visitors center.
Civil Rights in Birmingham, Alabama
Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham, also played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement and 2013 will see numerous events commemorating this. Birmingham's Civil Rights District includes Kelly Ingram Park where marches were formed, and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where four young girls were killed by a racist's bomb. Across the street is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the nation's finest civil rights museum. It has 58,000 square feet of archives, galleries, community meeting rooms and exhibit spaces.
Civil Rights in Tuskegee, Alabama
Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center tells previously untold civil rights stories about the first African American U.S. military pilots known as the ‘Tuskegee Airmen’ who flew with distinction during World War II. The blockbuster film by George Lucas called 'Red Tails' tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen starring Cuba Gooding Jr and available on DVD.
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