While the key battles of the modern Civil Rights movement focused on the Deep South, sites from the struggle can be found across the country.
Most of these trips will take several days, and cover hundreds of miles. Don’t rush. For many travelers, the joy of these trips are the unexpected conversations you’ll have, and the people you’ll meet
Dive into the Deep South
The classic Civil Rights Trip takes travelers from Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthplace in Atlanta through Montgomery, Alabama’s famed “Lynching Memorial,” to Selma and Birmingham. From there, it’s a few hours through Mississippi to Memphis, site of King’s assassination. This just scratches the surface. If possible, you’ll want to add visits to places like Tuskeegee, home to the famed Airmen, who battled in World War Two, along with extra time in Mississippi, to see sites associated with the brutal killing of Emmett Till.
Others start a southeast trip in Washington, D.C. home to the stunning African-American History museum and the King memorial, and then traveling to the Moton School in Farmville, site of one of the most inspiring student protests in the movement. Then it’s an easy drive to Greensboro, home to the famous Woolworth’s sit-ins.
Battle for school integration
One great thing about the U.S. Civil Rights Trail is that it has introduced visitors to historic sites they may never have known about.
One example, connects two important places for school integration, the Brown v. Board of Education park in Topeka, Kansas, to Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas, where the National Guard had to integrate the school. Along the way, it’s worth a stop in Tulsa, where scholars are still finding more about the massacre.