The Civil Rights Memorial Center is pleased to welcome back visitors after closing in 2020 due to COVID-19. Advanced online ticketing is required.
Known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement, the city of Montgomery is rich with civil rights history, and no tour of Alabama’s capital would be complete without a visit to the Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC). A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), it is one of Alabama’s premiere civil rights sites and serves as the interpretive center for the Civil Rights Memorial, which honors the martyrs of the movement and inspires visitors to continue the march for racial equity and social justice.
The CRMC and the Memorial are located just around the corner from the historic church where Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Alabama Capitol steps, where King spoke to thousands at the conclusion of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.
The Memorial, dedicated in 1989, was designed by Maya Lin, who found inspiration in the paraphrase from Amos 5:24 that King used in his “I Have a Dream” speech: “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” On the Memorial’s circular, black granite table, water emerges from the center and flows evenly across a timeline, reminiscent of a sundial, that chronicles the major events of the movement and records the names of 40 men, women and children who were killed during the struggle. Behind the table, a thin sheet of water flows down a 40-foot-long curved, black granite wall on which the words “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” are inscribed.
The Memorial sits across the street from the SPLC’s office building, in an open plaza accessible to visitors 24 hours a day, every day of the week.