Day 1 You'll See:
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- 16th Street Baptist Church
- Kelly Ingram Park
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (Closed Until December 2020)
- Eddie Kendrick's Memorial Park
- Bethel Baptist Church
Day 2 You'll See:
This 2-day Birmingham tour will show your group the city's key Civil Rights history spots, from 16th Street Baptist church to Eddie Kendrick's Memorial Park.
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Located in the Civil Rights District, the Institute is nearby other significant sites such as the 16th Street Baptist Church which once served as the movement's organizational headquarters, as well as Kelly Ingram Park and others. Within the interpretive research center, your student group can see amazing installations of sculptures, art, historic artifacts, and true-to-life retellings of events as they occurred. Allow your students the opportunity to wend their way through history via exhibits depicting the history of African American society in America and their push for civil liberties, equality, and integration.
16th Street Baptist Church
This spot was the very first black church in Birmingham, a church that dealt with banishing segregation and historic civil rights victories, not before going through its fair shares of trials and tribulations along the way, though. During your visit, you will see the church with the twin towers with pointed domes, the iconic cupola over the sanctuary, and the large basement auditorium lined with classrooms. You will also see a large stained glass window designed by John Pelts, as well, each bit of the design iconic and memorable pieces of a much larger Romanesque built masterpiece. There are current services, sermons, and bible studies/community events that take place here, as well as daily tours to discuss the turbulent history.
Kelly Ingram Park
Within this park, you will see various sculptures and monuments featuring vivid depictions of the demonstrations of the 1960s, this park being the main site of many sit-ins, boycotts, marches, and jailings. This park, then known as West Park, saw so much of this action because it was officially chosen as the assembly point for the SCLC's Project C (Project Confrontation).
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (Closed Until December 2020)
This amazing museum is located in the historic Carver Theatre in the Civil Rights District of Birmingham. Over more than 2,200 square feet, you'll find jazz memorabilia, instruments, personal possessions of the great artists, paintings and even quilts. Exhibits laud the legacies of Ella Fitzgerald, W.C. Handy, and others who so impacted the jazz community, and the world, with their music. Fully dedicated to jazz, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame has offered jazz classes every Saturday since 1999. Students from all over come and sit in on an educational session to learn the instruments, style, and rhythm. Professional jazz musicians also often play at Carver Theatre which is open to public attendance.
Eddie Kendrick's Memorial Park
This memorial garden is dedicated to none other than Eddie Kendricks, a famous singer from the Temptations. The main attraction here is the bronze sculpture of Eddie, created by local Tuskegee artist Ronald McDowell. This depiction of Kendricks shows him holding his mic, looking upward, and in the midst of belting one of his dreamy 'ooooh's'. The other members of the Temptations are built into the granite wall behind, as are the names of some of the group's most famous hit songs. Eddie Kendricks was born here in Birmingham in 1937, became a hit sensation in 1964, and died in 1992. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Bethel Baptist Church
This church is located on 28th Avenue and offers tours to the public each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 3 pm (by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Visiting this church will give your group insight on the racial injustice that took place in Birmingham, on the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights organization, and on the life of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth in general. This House of God was home to activist Fred Shuttlesworth and his family, Shuttlesworth being the founder of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in June of 1956, as well as a helper in founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The church served as headquarters from 1956 to 1961, a time in which 3 separate bombings by white extremists happened here.
Within the boundaries of this popular animal home, you will see such exhibits as the Alligator Swamp, Giraffe Feeding Station, and Savannah Safari. Explore the members of the ‘Feathered Friends’ club, a section of the zoo with over 300 different types of birds. There are exhibits with monkeys, with lions, and even with Komodo Dragons! Walking around the zoo you can meet some of the most notable animals here, such as Babec the Western Lowland Gorilla or Akili the Lion. Groups of 15 or more will receive group discounts, tour opportunities, and access to the Discovery Programs. There will be several daily Children’s Zoo lectures or specials, daily carousel rides, train rides, and even sea lion training demonstrations.
Vulcan Statue and Museum
This statue is the largest cast-iron statue in the entire world, as well as Birmingham’s unofficial city symbol. Sitting high atop Red Mountain, and by high we mean 56 feet high, to be exact, this outstanding piece of artwork is this region's ‘original iron man’, the highly recognizable depiction of a ‘burly, bearded, and bare-bottomed’ man one of the most spectacular sites in the whole city. This amazing structure is patterned after the mythical Roman God of Forge, a symbol of the city’s powerful position in the iron industry plus its ever-present spark of industrious spirit. Once here you and your group can enjoy some of the most amazing panoramic views in the entire region, the observation balcony here open for your viewing pleasure daily.