Tourism Ireland

The Civil Rights Trail in Alabama

by Nia Scott

Mar 30, 2019

Birmingham, Alabama © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime

Trends / History

Alabama was a civil rights hot spot during the 1950s and 60s. The state struggled with leaving old rules and regulations in the past and moving toward a more peaceful and harmonious situation. The clashes between protestors and law enforcement were brutal and well documented. All eyes were on Alabama at the time to see how a state with such deep hate and animosity would react to the peaceful protests and demands of those looking for equal civil rights. The events that happened in this state helped to push the legislation in all states, making America a more inclusive country.


Today, there are still many fights to be won in getting equal rights for everyone, not just African Americans. The protestors were enthused by the success of the civil rights movement and many protests show parallels to the past.


The best place to begin a civil rights tour is in Birmingham. This city has a dark history in the civil rights movement and began much of it. Visitors can tour the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, an interpretive museum solely covering the American Civil Rights Movement. Across the street is the famed Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the location of the horrific bombing in 1963, planned by Klansmen, that killed four little girls.


A can’t miss attraction is the walk to Selma across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where the civil rights march began and where the events of Bloody Sunday took place. Nearby is the Brown Chapel AME Church, where MLK Jr. launched the voting rights march.


There are many more spots to visit in Alabama, including the Selma-to-Montgomery Trail, The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Alabama State Capitol and the Civil Rights Memorial.


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