Learning to Be Civil
Kids learn different lessons in the Birmingham Civil Rights District, a six-block area downtown. The struggle for civil rights in America was played out on these streets. Now, four major sites make up a "living monument" to human rights.
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. You'll learn about the men and women who stood up to bigotry and segregation. A sloping path takes you on an uphill journey through thematic galleries such as "Barriers" and "Confrontation," illustrated with film clips, life-size figures, artifacts, and re-created scenes from the 1920s to the present.
- The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. This famous site was the scene of a tragic bombing during a 1963 Sunday morning service. Now a landmark and a functioning church, the sanctuary is lit by a dramatic stained-glass window -- given as a memorial by the people of Wales.
- The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. A collection of memorabilia and exhibits in the historic Art Deco Carver Theater honors such musical legends as Lionel Hampton, W.C. Handy, Sun Ra, and Nat "King" Cole.
- Kelly Ingram Park. Once the rallying point for many major civil rights demonstrations, the park is now a monument to human rights. Follow the "Freedom Walk," past sculptures depicting conflict, to the center of the park, where a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gazes over a peaceful marble pool.