City of Anniston announces completion of digital Civil Rights Trail

Trail marker for the historic Seventeenth Street Missionary Baptist Church. (Perfect Pro Wash on Facebook)

The city of Anniston has announced the completion of the Anniston Civil Rights Trail, which recognizes and remembers several key sites and events significant to the Civil Rights Movement.

Here’s what we know about the project & background on some of the historical sites featured on the trail.

Where to find a map

Beginning in February, citizens and tourists alike will be able to pick up updated Trail Map Brochures through Anniston City Hall, the Main Street Anniston office, Freedom Riders National Monument, and the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce Tourism Department, Visit Calhoun County, Alabama

Background on the project

Freedom Riders Greyhound Bus Depot Site. (Pat Byington/ Bham Now)

The project by the Anniston Civil Rights and Heritage Trail Committee first began in 2010 when conversations with locals revealed that many residents were unaware of the various civil rights events that occurred in Anniston.

The 10 sites will be marked with brown and gold markers along with a QR code. Each marker provides information about the specific event that took place at each trail site. 

Historic significance of Anniston

One trail marker can be seen outside of the Freedom Riders National Monument. (Freedom Riders National Monument on Facebook)

One significant marker, the Greyhound Bus Station, was the location of the terminal where on May 14, 1961, a bus carrying Civil Rights activists known as “Freedom Riders” were attacked by an angry and violent mob who were protesting desegregation of public transportation facilities.

Another marks the place where an innocent Black man named Willie Brewster, was shot and killed in 1965 by white extremists after NSRP members encouraged white Annistonians to commit acts of violence against Black people. When his killer was convicted, it became the first instance in Alabama history that a white jury penalized a white person for racially motivated murder.

10 Historic sites

Here’s a list of all the sites featured on the trail:

For more information about the Anniston Civil Rights Trail, visit this link.

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Grace Howard
Grace Howard
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