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Visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

birmingham civil rights institute

Birmingham, Alabama is home to many important landmarks from the Civil Rights Movement. The most important place to see is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a massive interpretive museum and research center downtown. Opened in 1992, the Smithsonian affiliate’s tours start in the atrium, where guides share important information on the facility and tell you where to begin. The experience starts with a film that sets the scene for the time period in which the movement came to Birmingham. The back wall then opens up into the museum, where the “White” and “Colored” water fountains are the first things you see.

birmingham civil rights institute

The rest of the museum showcases events by the year with displays from Rosa Parks’ bus journey, Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in the Birmingham Jail, and even the KKK’s involvement in the state. All of the artifacts have been donated over the years. The institute also has three different special galleries as well as traveling exhibits on modern civil rights movements worldwide and a research library.

birmingham civil rights institute

There are also a number of additional stops included in the Birmingham Civil Rights District is 16th Street Baptist Church, where three girls were killed by a bomber. Kelly Ingram Park, across from the institute, is where protests took place and now sculptures demonstrate the violence the police inflicted on the citizens. From the park, you can follow the walking path to the Birmingham Jail and other landmarks like the Fourth Avenue Business District and the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame located in the Carver Theatre.

birmingham civil rights institute

If You Go

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is located at 520 Sixteenth Street North, Birmingham Alabama 35203. They’re open for tours Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for seniors and children, and $6 for students. On Sundays, admission is by donation only and first come, first served. Discounts are available for AAA members and active military. Free parking is available behind the building off Fifteenth Street North but is limited. There is also street parking.

Mentioned in this post
  1. 16th Street Baptist Church
    Attraction in Birmingham Alabama

    1530 6th Avenue North
    Birmingham Alabama
    (205) 251-9402
    www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/al11.htm
  2. Kelly Ingram Park
    Attraction in Jefferson County Alabama

    5th Avenue N & 16th Street
    Jefferson County Alabama
    (205) 458-8000
    http://birminghamal.org/
  3. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    Attraction in Birmingham Alabama

    520 16th St N
    Birmingham Alabama
    (205) 328-9696
    http://www.bcri.org/

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