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The Alabama Civil Rights Trail iPhone App will guide your way

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Learn History in a Flash

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New: 2012 Tour Schedule features guided trips with historic figures like Julian Bond and Bernard Lafayette Jr.

Top six cities for Dr. Martin Luther King history

No other name is so closely linked to the Civil Rights movement. A Civil Rights traveler can visit the most important Civil Rights sites just by touring the cities where Dr. King lived and made history.

Birmingham, Alabama

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Statues in Kelly Ingram Park vividly bring the city's protests to life.

When Dr. Martin Luther King pastored in Montgomery, Alabama, he was a frequent visitor to Birmingham, and came to know the city's racial strife -- and its African-American leaders.

It would be hard to understate the city's role in Civil Rights history, which makes it a key stop for any Civil Rights traveler. The city, once known for police-dog attacks and murder, is now a leader in preserving the history of the Civil Rights era. Today visitors find a sophisticated city that looks forward while helping visitors explore its rocky, racial history.

Dr. King's letter from Birmingham Jail -- an eloquent plea for non-violent protest -- has been called the most important document of the civil rights era. It was scribbled on the margins of a newspaper after his arrest during 1963's Birmingham Campaign that would eventually end segregation in the South. Dr. King's actual jail cell is displayed at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Next King site.


Birmingham travel info
Information on the six-block Civil Rights District here

Alabama state travel info

100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die
A must-carry list for any Heart of Dixie road trip.


The Tutwiler - Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham-Downtown Don't be fooled by the chain affiliation, this is a Birmingham institution, refurbished and updated for guests. Don't miss the free chocolate chip cookies at night. 2021 Park Place North, Birmingham, 205/332-2100. TripAdvisor average rate: $166

Aloft Birmingham Soho Square  Technically located "over the mountain" in Homewood,  This trendy chain offers basic, but stylish amenities. 1903 29th Avenue South, Homewood, 205/874-8055. TripAdvisor average rate: $157


One of the hottest dining cities in the South, Birmingham offers an array of innovative restaurants.

Chez Fonfon

Celebrity chef Frank Stitts' take on a Parisian Bistro. The mussels and frites are heavenly. 2007 11th Avenue South, Birmingham, 205/939-3221.

Niki's West

A bustling Southern cafeteria with dozens of freshly prepared vegetables, and don't think of skipping dessert. 233 Finley Avenue West, Birmingham, 205/252-5751.


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4 Little Girls Spike Lee's first documentary is a restrained but angry film about Birmingham's deadly church bombing. One of his most moving works.


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Alabama's Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide To The Cradle Of Freedom, by Frye Gaillard with an introduction by Juan Williams, (University of Alabama Press, 2010) A brand-new book by a Civil Rights historian and gifted journalist. A guide to scores of sites, with moving interviews with the actual foot soldiers from the movement.

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The Watsons go to Birmingham An award-winnning young-adult book tells the story of the Watsons visit to Alabama's largest city during the fateful spring of 1963.

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Carry Me Home This Pulitzer Prise=winning memoir captures Birmingham during the height of the civil rights movement.

More DVDs, books and shirts.