Join the University of Virginia and Professor Emeritus Julian Bond to gain a comprehensive appreciation of the American Civil Rights Movement, from its earliest and often unreported days in the mid-1950s, through the more high-profile years that followed. It seems fitting, as we observe the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, that we also pay homage to the modern civil rights struggle, which is its legacy.
This seminar will visit many key sites of that movement, including some which are observing their semicentennial. Along the way, we will meet participants in the movement and others who continue its unfinished business.
Stand in the places where Montgomery happened; the spot where Homer Plessy boarded the New Orleans train that resulted in 1896’s Plessy v. Ferguson, creating the doctrine of “separate but equal,” that segregated the South for almost a century; Selma, Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge; the site of the Philadelphia, Mississippi, murders of three civil rights workers; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pulpit in Montgomery, and more.
Throughout the trip and at the acclaimed Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, learn about the struggles of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the era of upheaval. Hear from Doug Jones, who in 2001 prosecuted the remaining suspects in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Rev. Robert Graetz, the only white member of the Montgomery Bus Boycott organization, and many other civil rights organizers who risked life and limb to gain freedom.
- Take in a raw and powerful slice of history with the people who made that history
- Hear stories from leaders of the Southern Poverty Law Center
- Learn how a single, tiny woman affected a cultural revolution at the Rosa Parks Museum
- Visit a small museum in Selma, where visitors on both sides of the civil rights fight have left behind handwritten memories of their own roles in the conflict
- Enjoy the deeply rooted culture of the Black South, from food for the soul to art for the walls