Walking the Streets With MLK – Six Places to Visit in Birmingham and Montgomery

By Jeremy Rinkel on January 9, 2012
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit the cities of Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama. These two cities have a multitude of Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. historic sites. Whether you have the opportunity to physically walk the streets of these cities or just travel to them virtually, I hope this post provides you with the necessary information to walk the streets with MLK.

 

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI)

Virtual Tour Information:

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) provides a multitude of resources for the classroom teacher. The mission of the Institute is “to promote civil and human rights worldwide through education.” The BCRI opened in November of 1992. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the BCRI hosts traveling exhibitions.

Physical Tour Information:

Be sure to plan your visit to be sure the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will be open when you arrive.

GPS Directions: 520 16th Street North, Birmingham, AL  35203

Kelly Ingram Park

statueStatue of Dog Attacking Child in Kelly Ingram ParkVirtual Tour Information:

Kelly Ingram Park, formerly West Park, was a staging ground for Civil Rights protests in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is now home to many statues and signs explaining the historical events that occurred in the park.

Physical Tour Information:

The park is located across the street from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

GPS Directions: 520 16th Street North, Birmingham, AL  35203

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Virtual Tour Information:16th Street Baptist ChurchSixteenth Street Baptist Church

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was the site of a horrible bombing that killed four young girls in 1963. The bombing received national attention. Less than a year after the bombing, Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Physical Tour Information:

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is located across the street from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

GPS Directions: 1530 6th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

 

Montgomery, Alabama

The Civil Rights Memorial

Civil Rights MemorialCivil Rights MemorialVirtual Tour Information:

The Civil Rights Memorial is located across the street from the Southern Poverty Law Center in downtown Montgomery. The memorial was created by Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Keep up to date with what is happening at the Civil Rights Memorial on their Facebook page.

Physical Tour Information:

The memorial grounds are open 24 hours a day. The Southern Poverty Law Center Web site is very informative when planning your visit.

GPS Directions: 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery AL

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Dexter Ave ChurchDexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist ChurchVirtual Tour Information:

The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church is the church where MLK and other leaders organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Dr. King was also a pastor at the church from 1954 to 1960. The church is still in existence today. The church parsonage has a reflection garden and an interpretive center.Historical Marker, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Physical Tour Information:

GPS Directions: Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church: 454 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, AL  36104
GPS Directions: Parsonage and Interpretive Center: 309 South Jackson Street, Montgomery, AL 36103

 

The Rosa Parks Museum

Virtual Tour Information:Bus Stop MarkerHistorical Marker, the Bus Stop

The Rosa Parks Museum is located at Troy University in Montgomery, AL. Rosa Parks, by refusing to give up her seat on a city bus, sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Physical Tour Information:

Be sure to plan your visit and allow time to see the wonderful exhibits the museum has to offer. My family absolutely loved the vintage 1955 “time machine” Montgomery city bus.

GPS Directions: 252 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, AL 36104

 

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