Should-see Stops Alongside The US Civil Rights Path

To your subsequent keep, make a journey to the locations and moments that modified American historical past and discover the U.S. Civil Rights Path. With over 100 places unfold throughout 15 states, there’s loads to see alongside this route commemorating the essential folks and locations of the Civil Rights Motion. Undecided the place to begin? Think about these 5 must-see places, the place you’ll discover:

  • Complete museums: Uncover unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Motion
  • Thought-provoking moments: Go to the memorials and monuments that pay tribute to this momentous time in historical past
  • Music mania: Discover the latest additions to the path showcasing Black Individuals’ contributions to music
Sarasota’s seashores had been the scene of a few of the Civil Rights Motion’s most vital protests.

Sarasota, Florida

Florida’s 825 miles (1,328 kilometers) of seashores have been the setting for a few of the Civil Rights Motion’s most pivotal moments.

Expertise this historical past for your self by following the 15 historic markers of the Newtown African American Heritage Path. Established to protect the city’s wealthy historical past and share how the neighborhood remodeled from 1914 to the current day, the path contains notable sights like The Wright Bush Home. Owned by entrepreneur Wright Bush, this house was the primary within the space to have electrical energy and have become a central gathering place for the Black neighborhood.

To study this time straight from an area, contemplate exploring the path with a guided trolley tour offered by Newtown Alive, a company working to protect the neighborhood’s centuries-old historical past. (Picture credit score: Photograph by Meadow Marie on Unsplash)

Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery
Dwelling to a number of historic websites, Montgomery, Alabama affords an eye-opening glimpse into the struggle for equal rights.

Montgomery, Alabama

Most of the essential moments within the struggle for equal rights came about in Alabama, so it’s no shock that the Southern state has greater than two dozen stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Path. Cities like Selma and Birmingham are noteworthy locations with a number of historic websites, however in case you’re quick on time, we advise focusing your journey on Montgomery.

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Right here you’ll discover the Rosa Parks Museum, the Freedom Rides Museum — positioned in a historic Greyhound Bus station that has been restored to look because it did again in 1961 — and the Dexter Parsonage Museum, amongst different essential websites.

In the event you’re in a position, observe within the footsteps of civil rights activists comparable to former United States Consultant John Lewis by strolling the 1,248 toes (380 meters) throughout the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A Nationwide Historic Landmark, this well-known memorial connects Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.

A Monument to the Little Rock Nine, Arkansas State Capitol Grounds
The Little Rock 9 turned symbols of bravery previous the Brown v. The Board of Training determination.

Little Rock, Arkansas

In the event you’re headed to Arkansas on a historical past hunt, you’re in luck as a result of all of the state’s stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Path are in Little Rock. To grasp Arkansas’ position within the Civil Rights Motion, begin with a go to to Little Rock Central Excessive Faculty.

Designated a historic website by the Nationwide Park Service, Little Rock Central H.S. affords a customer middle/museum and ranger-led excursions on the grounds of the still-functioning highschool. Excursions are solely accessible with a confirmed reservation so you’ll want to name the park’s essential cellphone quantity to ensure your spot at the very least two months upfront.

Cease by the state Capitol to admire “Testomony: The Little Rock 9 Monument.” Consisting of 9 bronze statues dealing with the governor’s workplace, the highly effective memorial additionally contains quotes from every of the 9 college students. (Picture credit score: Photograph Courtesy of Little Rock Conference & Guests Bureau)

Stax Museum exterior in Memphis Tennessee
Devoted to soul music, Nashville’s Stax Museum is the one one in all its form within the U.S.

Nashville, Tennessee

While you consider Tennessee, nation music icons in all probability come to thoughts. There’s way more to the state’s musical legacy, nonetheless, together with one of many latest additions to the U.S. Civil Rights Path: The Nationwide Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) in Nashville.

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NMAAM is the one museum of its form, celebrating how the African American neighborhood has influenced greater than 50 genres and subgenres of music — from jazz and gospel to hip hop and even nation music. NMAAM is an interactive expertise, so get able to hop within the studio to provide your individual tune, problem your folks to a rap battle and get in entrance of a inexperienced display to nearly be a part of a gospel choir.

Music-lovers also needs to make a detour to Memphis for a go to to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music — one other latest addition to the Civil Rights Path and the one museum on the earth devoted to this style. Full your journey with a go to to the Lorraine Motel, which was transformed into the Nationwide Civil Rights Museum in 1991. (Picture credit score: Courtesy Stax Museum of American Soul Music)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C.
Open 24 hours a day, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial pays tribute to Dr. King’s inspiring life and legacy.


Go to the nation’s capital, Washington, the place the Civil Rights Act was signed into legislation in 1964 and the place landmark Supreme Court docket selections had been made, all paving the best way for extra equal rights.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, the place MLK gave his well-known “I Have a Dream” speech, are each highlights alongside the U.S. Civil Rights Path. However no matter you do within the district, the one cease you may’t miss is the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition (NMAAHC).

As the primary and solely nationwide museum devoted solely to the African American expertise, NMAAHC tells an easy-to-follow and complete story. Galleries showcase 36,000 artifacts from the occasions of slavery to the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

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NMAAHC is a Smithsonian Museum, so entry is free, however you’ll have to safe a timed-entry ticket from the museum web site. We advise selecting a morning time slot, because it’s straightforward to spend a complete day at NMAAHC, full with a meal at Candy Dwelling Cafe, the museum’s restaurant highlighting African American culinary traditions from completely different areas across the U.S.

Regardless of the place you select to discover alongside the U.S. Civil Rights Path, you’ll finish the journey feeling a bit wiser and maybe with a deeper appreciation for the tireless efforts of equal rights activists. (Picture credit score: Photograph by Jimmy on Unsplash)

Jessica Poitevien is a global storyteller with greater than a decade of expertise in writing and enhancing. When she’s not touring, you’ll find Jessica having fun with her different obsessions: baking cookies, befriending strangers and exploring nature.