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Civil Rights Road Trip

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While today we speak of Southern hospitality, but as we know from history, slavery existed, as did segregation and Jim Crow laws and, only owing to the bravery of hundreds of thousands in the Civil Rights Movement, did this change when it did.

 

The South is hot in the summer and with Black History Month approaching, perhaps now is the time to explore Alabama a bit and look at the struggle that faced those that marched from Selma to Montgomery.

 

There are more than 20 sites and the entire 54-mile length of US80 between Selma and Montgomery, being documented, preserved and protected as part of the Civil Rights Movement National Trail. Additionally, two of three planned information centers are open if you wish to make this pilgrimage where grim reminders of a struggle are remembered. For example, just east of Hayneville, Ala., Viola Liuzzo, a white housewife from Detroit, was murdered by the Klu Klux Klan for shuttling marchers as a volunteer. She has a worthy memorial on the south side of US-80 between Petronia and Lowndesboro.

 

The trip and sites like the aforementioned should not be thought of as grim, but as a sacrifice made my thousands necessary to see the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed into law, which actually put teeth in the Civil Rights Act signed by Lyndon Baines Johnson the year prior.

 

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