Alabama Civil Rights Legacy

Few states have a history that is as rich as Alabama. It’s the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, and many of its most important moments took place in the state. From the Freedom Riders journeying into the South to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus, the Alabama Civil Rights Movement changed the country forever. Explore history at interactive history museums and exhibits from one region of the state to another. Be inspired by unique opportunities to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on America. Reflect on the challenges we have triumphed over as a nation and the ones we have yet to overcome. If you’re interested in learning about the Civil Rights Movement, Alabama is the place to visit!

Hit the Road To Explore Gee’s Bend

February 2023

In the Southwest rural corner of the state of Alabama, there is a small parcel of land called Gee’s Bend.  Gee’s Bend is surrounded by the Alabama River and it is only accessible by ferry. It was founded by a wealthy landowner Joseph Gee who moved to the area in the early 1800s. Gee brought several slaves with him to the area and later sold the land along with the slaves to Mark Pettway. After the Civil War, the freed slaves founded an all-black-owned community there that was isolated from the rest of the state.  

About a century later, the women of this isolated community began the Freedom Quilting Bee Collective which became an outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement. The women were dedicated to community development and sold crafts as a way to raise money for their projects. However, their efforts were thwarted in 1962 when the ferry service was shut down and once again Gee’s Bend was isolated from the outside world. It would be 44 years later before service was restored to Gee’s Bend. Despite this, the women of the quilting collective would garner attention from fashion designers in New York City which started a revival in patchwork quilting.

In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated the Pine Burr Quilt the official quilt of the state. The Pine Burr quilt pattern, boasting an intricate, three-dimensional design, has deep roots in the African-American community, particularly among the women of Gee’s...

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Civil Rights: Tracing Selma to Montgomery

After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and in 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began focusing his attention on Black...
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Experience Alabama's Civil Rights Trail.

In two 25-minute episodes of Travels With Darley , Darley Newman takes viewers to some of the most historic sites along...
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Visit Alabama’s African American Historic Sites.

Alabama played a critical role in shaping civil rights history. Key events that forged the state’s significance in how...
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Featured Locations & Events

Whether it's walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge or touring 16th Street Baptist Church, Alabama has some of the most enriching civil rights experiences waiting for you.

The Legacy Lives! Hear it

The Alabama Civil Rights Trail podcast adds a new dimension to how this history is told.

Hear Stories of the Movement and Their Morals for Today

The Alabama Civil Rights Trail Podcast features real stories of real people who were there. They were the foot soldiers who held the front lines of the Movement. They were the freedom riders and protestors. They sat when people ordered them to leave. By telling their stories, they’ll be remembered and shared. And with the help of historians and other experts, we can learn why the events and actions from decades ago remain so relevant today.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.

Alabama Civil Rights Trail Podcast

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The Legacy Lives Here

Explore these attractions and more when you visit our civil rights destinations.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

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Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

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Rosa Parks Museum and Childrens Wing

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Civil Rights Memorial Center

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Freedom Rides Museum/ Historic Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station

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Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

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Find an Alabama Civil Rights Experience

Explore civil rights locations you should visit the next time you're here.
Guides Tours Or Rides
530 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s reshaped the history of the United States – and the world – leaving a legacy that is both vibrant and inspiring, yet fragile. In Alabama, the cities of Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma...
Historic Site
144 West 4th Street
Anniston, AL 36201
The Anniston Civil Rights Trail recognizes and remembers key events, significant sites and people in the city of Anniston during the American Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968).
Historic Site
16th St N and 6th Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203
Now a national monument, the Birmingham Civil Rights District includes the sites of upheaval during the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1950s through 1963, including the church where four little girls died in a race-related bombing.
Historic Site
Kelly Ingram Park, Corner of 6th Ave. N. and 16th Street
Birmingham, AL 35203
Self-guided tour.
520 16th St. N
Birmingham, AL 35203