Alabama Civil Rights Legacy
Few states have a history that is as rich as Alabama. It’s the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, and many of its most important moments took place in the state. From the Freedom Riders journeying into the South to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus, the Alabama Civil Rights Movement changed the country forever. Explore history at interactive history museums and exhibits from one region of the state to another. Be inspired by unique opportunities to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on America. Reflect on the challenges we have triumphed over as a nation and the ones we have yet to overcome. If you’re interested in learning about the Civil Rights Movement, Alabama is the place to visit!
Hit the Road To Explore Gee’s Bend
In the Southwest rural corner of the state of Alabama, there is a small parcel of land called Gee’s Bend. Gee’s Bend is surrounded by the Alabama River and it is only accessible by ferry. It was founded by a wealthy landowner Joseph Gee who moved to the area in the early 1800s. Gee brought several slaves with him to the area and later sold the land along with the slaves to Mark Pettway. After the Civil War, the freed slaves founded an all-black-owned community there that was isolated from the rest of the state.
About a century later, the women of this isolated community began the Freedom Quilting Bee Collective which became an outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement. The women were dedicated to community development and sold crafts as a way to raise money for their projects. However, their efforts were thwarted in 1962 when the ferry service was shut down and once again Gee’s Bend was isolated from the outside world. It would be 44 years later before service was restored to Gee’s Bend. Despite this, the women of the quilting collective would garner attention from fashion designers in New York City which started a revival in patchwork quilting.
In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated the Pine Burr Quilt the official quilt of the state. The Pine Burr quilt pattern, boasting an intricate, three-dimensional design, has deep roots in the African-American community, particularly among the women of Gee’s...
Civil Rights: Tracing Selma to Montgomery
Experience Alabama's Civil Rights Trail.
Visit Alabama’s African American Historic Sites.
Featured Locations & Events
Whether it's walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge or touring 16th Street Baptist Church, Alabama has some of the most enriching civil rights experiences waiting for you.
The Legacy Lives! Hear it
Hear Stories of the Movement and Their Morals for Today
The Alabama Civil Rights Trail Podcast features real stories of real people who were there. They were the foot soldiers who held the front lines of the Movement. They were the freedom riders and protestors. They sat when people ordered them to leave. By telling their stories, they’ll be remembered and shared. And with the help of historians and other experts, we can learn why the events and actions from decades ago remain so relevant today.
Available wherever you get your podcasts.
Alabama Civil Rights Trail Podcast
Before planning your trip, be sure to check out upcoming events!
The Legacy Lives Here
Explore these attractions and more when you visit our civil rights destinations.