'Civil Rights South': Bus Tour Visits Landmark Sites in Civil Rights Struggle

March 21, 2007 -- University of Virginia history professor Julian Bond is leading a tour of the Civil Rights South from March 17 to 24. The bus tour began and will end in Atlanta, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., and will include stops at prominent sites in the history of the Civil Rights Movement throughout Georgia and Alabama.

"The route has the advantage of following the movement's development chronologically," Bond said. "Tuskegee had a voting rights movement; the Montgomery Bus Boycott was in 1955-'56; Selma's movement began to pick up steam in 1963, and the big Birmingham protests were in 1963."

Joining Bond on the trip are William Harvey, vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity at U.Va., and a range of U.Va. staff, alumni and friends. The tour was organized by Virginia Voyages, a University of Virginia travel program for alumni, parents, and friends.

Highlights of the Civil Rights South itinerary include the Ebenezer Baptist Church and King Center in Atlanta, Ga.; Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and George Washington Carver Museum in Tuskegee, Ala.; the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Civil Rights Memorial & Museum and Rosa Parks Library & Museum in Montgomery, Ala.; Edmund Pettus Bridge and Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Ala.; and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park and16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

Dispatches from the Civil Rights South tour will be posted daily on this page.

March 18, Atlanta, Ga.: Reflections on the Civil Rights Era, Julian Bond interviews John Lewis, an anniversary service at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, and a tour of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home.

March 19, Tuskegee, Ala.: Tuskegee's role as the "cradle of American equality," with visits to Tuskegee University and the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center.

March 20, Montgomery, Ala.: Tour of the King Memorial Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and conversations with Rev. Robert Graetz and civil rights attorney Fred Gray.

March 21, Selma, Ala.: Selma’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ and the March to Montgomery

March 22, Birmingham, Ala.: Visits to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Baptist Church lead to an unexpected meeting with a survivor of the 1963 church bombing that claimed the lives of four young girls.