MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC) today launched two new projects that offer would-be visitors an opportunity to learn about the history of the modern civil rights movement while the Center remains closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Beginning today, the public can access a virtual tour led by CRMC Director Tafeni English and Operations Coordinator David Hodge. The 10-minute tour offers a detailed overview of the Center’s purpose and the 40 civil rights martyrs who are memorialized at the Center. It also features a view of the “The March Continues” hallway, which recognizes individuals who recently lost their lives to hate and injustice, underscoring the ongoing struggle for social justice and basic human rights.
“While the Center remains closed during the pandemic we wanted to offer people, especially children who are out of school, an opportunity to experience what the Civil Rights Memorial Center has to offer” said English. “Now more than ever we need a space to reflect on our history and the lessons learned so that hate and discrimination are eradicated.”
In addition to the virtual tour, the CRMC is offering a children’s activity book to help young people engage with the history and learn about key events of the civil rights movement. It includes a word search, crossword puzzle, timeline of major events, coloring pages featuring some of the martyrs, Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights Memorial and more.
When open to visitors, the CRMC welcomes about 75% of Alabama’s fourth graders each year for tours as a part of their school curriculum. This activity book is another tool that can be used to teach these young people about the history of the civil rights movement and the individuals who lost their lives during the struggle. It also uplifts individuals who are not commonly known, such as Corporal Roman Ducksworth Jr, a military officer stationed in Maryland, who was on the way home to visit his pregnant wife in 1962 when he was mistaken for a Freedom Rider and shot dead by a police officer in Mississippi.
The Civil Rights Memorial, which celebrated 30 years in November, honors Duckworth and others who were killed during the modern civil rights movement, a period framed by the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. It is located outside the CRMC, just yards from the church that King pastored when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott that sparked the movement. It remains open to the public.
Both the tour and the children’s activity book will be available to all visitors here on the CRMC website.
The CRMC, which closed on March 10 in response to the spread of the coronavirus, remains closed until further notice.