Imagine sitting at a lunch counter where other diners scowl at you and mutter obscenities under their breath. Or being refused a convenient (or clean) restroom, water fountain or seat on the public bus. Or not having access to the same public education as others, because of the way you look.
These were the daily struggles and injustices African Americans faced, and fiercely fought during the volatile 1950’s and 1960’s. For the first time ever, we can finally walk in their shoes through the educational and inspirational journey the U.S. Civil Rights Trail offers.
National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel- Memphis, NC
Launched this year, U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a collection of over 100 influential civil rights destinations across the Southeast. This groundbreaking trail retraces the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, John Lewis and other foot soldiers pivotal to the advancement of social equality.
Transforming a complicated history into a journey of meaningful discovery and memories, the virtual trail on www.CivilRightsTrail.com creates an immersive experience that tourists, historians and educators around the world can embrace.
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church- Montgomery, AL
The physical trail sites are spread across 14 states from Delaware and Kansas, to Louisiana and Kentucky, with the website bringing history to life through current and historical images of trail sites, interviews with foot soldiers and historians, and vivid storytelling piecing history together. The website also features an interactive map of each destination.
Travelers can learn how Selma, Alabama, became the center of a decisive shift in the American conscience or how a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, commanded the attention of an entire nation. Visitors can stand where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged the masses and inspired millions, walk where the oppressed marched or explore the museums that preserve their legacy.
Medgar Evers Home Museum- Jackson, MS
The trail has the potential to make a great economic impact in 2018, as this year marks several important civil rights milestones including the 50thanniversary of King’s assassination. According to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, an estimated 13 million visitors will tour civil rights museums and sites in 2018, spending $1.62 billion on tickets, meals, lodging and souvenirs.
The people, locations and destinations included in the U.S. Civil Rights Trail provide a way for families, travelers and educators to experience history firsthand and tell the story of how “what happened here changed the world.” As we reflect on Black History Month and those who stood in the face of adversity to demand justice and equality, the U.S. Civil Rights Trail honors and preserves their plight.
Bryan's Grocery- Money, MS