It’s officially February and Black History Month is here—a designated time to celebrate and honor the achievements and contributions of African Americans in the US. There are many historic museums, places and memorials to visit across the state that tell the story of trailblazers, change makers and Civil Rights Movement leaders. Read on to find out how and where you can celebrate the month in our state.
Birmingham played a pivotal role in the fight for equal rights, and one of the best resources we have to explore that history is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI). With powerful exhibits, galleries and events, the BCRI fulfills its mission of exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future.
Ready to learn more? The Magic City is full of historically rich spots to visit, including:
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
- Bethel Baptist Church
- Kelly Ingram Park
- Negro Southern League Museum
- Southern Museum of Flight
- Vulcan Park and Museum
- 16th Street Baptist Church
There are several celebratory events taking place in Birmingham throughout the month—check them out.
Selma became a key battleground and turning point for the civil rights movement in 1965. John Lewis led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, resulting in brutal attacks from state troopers. Footage of the violence was televised and shocked the nation. Now known as Bloody Sunday, the events were a catalyst for the Voting Rights Act—ensuring African Americans had the right to vote.
Other Selma landmarks to visit include:
- Brown Chapel AME Church
- Lowndes Interpretive Center
- National Voting Rights Museum and Institute
- Selma Interpretive Center
- Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Our state’s capital has several significant sites, museums and memorials to explore. You can visit the site of Rosa Parks’ arrest, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church and former home and courthouse of Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr.
Montgomery is also home to the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
Other landmarks to visit include:
- Alabama State Capitol which was the site of Dr. King’s “How Long, Not Long” speech
- City of St. Jude which was the first in the Southeast to integrate
- Civil Rights Memorial Center
- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist
- Freedom Rides Museum
- Rosa Parks Museum
Tuskegee is full of Black history to celebrate, including being home to the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the nation’s history.
While here, you can stroll through Tuskegee University’s historic campus. Booker T. Washington was the university’s first professor, and scientist George Washington Carver served on faculty as well. Notable alumni include singer Lionel Richie, author Ralph Ellison and the nation’s first Black four-star general, Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr.
Notable landmarks to visit include:
Did you know? Anniston has a Civil Rights Trail of its very own, with 10 historic sites displaying information about the specific event that took place at each site along the trail.
A must-see is Anniston’s Freedom Riders National Monument, which is at the city’s former Greyhound station.
Alabama Civil Rights Trail
Spanning over 40 locations across the state (including many mentioned above), the Alabama Civil Rights Trail tells the stories and retraces the steps of civil rights trailblazers.
Along the way, you’ll dive deeper into the people, places and events that changed the course of history in our state. Explore what you’ll find at each destination:
For our friends in Huntsville, we’ve also got you covered with several opportunities and events to celebrate Black History Month.
How are you celebrating Black History Month? Tag us @thebamabuzz and let us know!
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