Journey Into The Heart Of The Civil Rights Movement
With the spotlight on racial injustices and the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s becoming increasingly important for our schools to explore the events of the Civil Rights Movement. To do this, a growing number of teachers are taking their student groups on tour to the Deep South, right into the heart of the movement to help them better understand our country’s continued journey to racial equality.
There are plenty of tour operators who offer a Civil Rights Trail type of itinerary. Generally, these tours are anywhere from 4-6 days in length and are relatively affordable if you’re planning to bring a larger group (remember, the more people in your bus, the better your per person price will be). You will most likely start your tour in either Memphis or Atlanta and make a loop through Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma.
Things To Know
You will be on the bus…a lot. Your student group will be hitting anywhere from 4 to 6 cities and visiting lots of important sites, but the cities are relatively spread out. The itinerary might feel rushed at times. As long as everyone is prepared beforehand and expectations are properly set, you’ll have a happy group.
Some of the museums and sites might be a hard ticket to get. The MLK Birth Home in Atlanta is very popular with both student groups and regular tourists. Groups are able to reserve up to 3 times slots per day for a total of 45 tickets. If you have a larger group, it might be hard to accommodate everyone on the same day. Similarly, the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, a National Historic Landmark in Montgomery, is only open for tours 2 days per week. Make sure that if you’re set on visiting, your tour operator arranges your itinerary to be there when it’s open.
Time change! You’ll be moving between EST and CST over the course of this tour so be sure to talk to your tour company about how that will affect your schedule. Your tour director and bus driver will also know how to adjust your departure times to line up with your appointments.
Below are a few companies who offer Civil Rights Tours. Check them out, compare, and ask questions!
Download the Civil Rights Tour Meeting Flyer and others here.