National Voting Rights Museum and Institute
One of the most locally iconic places to honor the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the turbulent past is next, the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute. This regional giant of a museum (impact-wise, at least) was first established in 1991, built as an official institute in ‘93. The National Voting Rights Museum and Institute ‘honors, chronicles, collects, archives, and displays artifacts and testaments of activists who took park in the events leading up to the 1965 Marches and Voting Rights Act’. Located within the Historic District right at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, this spot is literally the cornerstone of the contemporary struggle for voting rights and human dignity.
To ‘offer American and the world the opportunity to learn the lessons of the past and assure that we will not make the same mistakes in the 21st century and beyond’ is what this museum aims to do, presenting the past and present struggles in an educational and emotional manner to serve as a living reminder of the future possibilities in this area of life. From the birth of democracy in 1776 to the journey for the right to vote, this museum chronicles and presents it all. Learn about the struggles, stories, and victories of those represented inside the walls of this museum, with tons of educational memorabilia and documentation all around the place. Take a Black Belt Heritage Tour or Maybe even a Footprints of Freedom Tour before you go, or perhaps just browse the personal collections and community forums yourself. Save some time to check out the Obama Gallery, March Mural, and Selma Artifacts sections, you won’t regret it!