Book a life-changing Civil Rights tour of the South

Civil Rights Tour of the South
While you won’t be riding the same bus as Rosa Parks, you’ll see where she made history.


It’s easy to visit most historic sites on your own, but there are reasons to take a guided civil rights tour of the South. On a practical level, it lets someone else worry about the driving and choose the restaurants, and more importantly, the trips are often guided by  extraordinary experts to help put the history and sites into perspective.

It’s quite easy to customize an educational civil rights tour of the South for a family, class, community organization or church. Throughout the year, many  groups and colleges and alumni associations also offer trips to significant sites, usually on multi-day bus tours. Most are open to everyone.

Virtual tour

Even in a time when traveling is difficult, you can still take a civil rights tour.

The tour company Road Scholar offers a five-day deep dive into the civil rights movement, all online. The experience includes field trips and discussions with experts and former civil rights activists, lasting two to three hours each day.

There will plenty of time for questions, and sessions presented by museum directors, researchers and historians.

Topics include the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the Freedom Rides, and discussions of how the Black Lives Matter movement builds on the protests of the past.

The experience costs $499 and is offered Nov. 16-20, 2020, and Jan. 25-29, 2021.

Tour companies

  • One of the best is Freedom Lifted, a Chicago company run by a woman with roots in the South.
  • Sojourn to the Past, a California-based non-profit, has been giving tours since 1999 and has developed deep connections in the Deep South. The tours hit all the major civil rights sites from Georgia to Arkansas, and adds in some surprises too. While most programs are designed for students, it does offer trips that can include families.

Book a specialty civil rights tour of the South

  • Road Scholar offers an eight-day Heart of the Civil Rights Movement tour visiting Atlanta, Montgomery and Birmingham.
  • Grand Circle Travel offers an extensive 11-day “Let Freedom Ring!” tour from Jackson, Mississippi to Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery, before ending in Mobile, Alabama. For first-time travelers, earn a $100 discount by mentioning name Lawrence B and Customer Number 2966437
  • The Nation magazine plans to offer an extensive week long trip in October 2020 and February 2021, through Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. It’s led by Andre Robert Lee, a teacher and filmmaker. Watch an excerpt of a trip below:

School trip planners

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