States that once defended segregation during the Jim Crow era are now uniting to promote the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.
For decades, individual states advertised their own Black history sites. This is the first joint effort to promote civil rights tourism in a group of states, Lee Sentell, Alabama’s tourism director, told the Associated Press. “Everyone wants to showcase their landmarks. For the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, we’re saying ‘What happened here changed the world,’” Sentell added.
The U.S. Civil Rights Trail incorporates 14 states, from Kansas to Delaware, featuring a total of 130 sites associated with the civil rights movement.
Here are a few of the featured landmarks:
Woolworth’s, Greensboro, N.C.
Lunch counter sit-in protests began at this former Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C. In February 1960, four Black students from North Carolina A&T State University took vacant seats at the “White’s Only” lunch counter and sparked a wave of sit-ins.
Lorraine Hotel, Memphis, Tenn.
This site where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on April 4, 1968 will draw a lot of visitors on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. It was once a white’s-only hotel that became a Black establishment that hosted famous African-American musicians, including Count Basie and Nat King Cole.
Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock, Ark.
In 1957, the nation’s eyes were fixed on this once obscure Arkansas high school that has become a symbol of the battle for school desegregation. Federal troops were called in to prevent a white mob from attacking nine African-American students who integrated the school.
Brown vs. Board of Education Historic Site, Topeka, Kans.
The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site was established to commemorate the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1954 that led to school desegregation.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Ala.
This site displays the actual jail bars that held Martin Luther King Jr. when he wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963.
5 Iconic National Sites Join To Promote Civil Rights Tourism was originally published on newsone.com