Alabama's Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide To The Cradle Of Freedom


No other state has embraced and preserved its civil rights history more thoroughly than Alabama. Nor is there a place where that history is richer. Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail tells of Alabama’s great civil rights events, as well as its lesser-known moments, in a compact and accessible narrative, paired with a practical guide to Alabama’s preserved civil rights sites and monuments. 
In his history of Alabama’s civil rights ...

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No other state has embraced and preserved its civil rights history more thoroughly than Alabama. Nor is there a place where that history is richer. Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail tells of Alabama’s great civil rights events, as well as its lesser-known moments, in a compact and accessible narrative, paired with a practical guide to Alabama’s preserved civil rights sites and monuments. 
In his history of Alabama’s civil rights movement, Cradle of Freedom (University of Alabama Press, 2004), Frye Gaillard contends that Alabama played the lead role in a historic movement that made all citizens of the nation, black and white, more free. This book, geared toward the casual traveler and the serious student alike, showcases in a vividly illustrated and compelling manner, valuable and rich details. It provides a user-friendly, graphic tool for the growing number of travelers, students, and civil rights pilgrims who visit the state annually.
The story of the civil rights movement in Alabama is told city by city, region by region, and town by town, with entries on Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, Tuscaloosa, Tuskegee, and Mobile, as well as chapters on the Black Belt and the Alabama hill country. Smaller but important locales such as Greensboro, Monroeville, and Scottsboro are included, as are more obscure sites like Hale County’s Safe House Black History Museum and the birthplace of the Black Panther Party in Lowndes County.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The hundred-fifty mile stretch along U.S. Highway 80 stretching through the Alabama Black Belt from Phenix City to Demopolis became the epic center of the most important human rights movement of the Twentieth Century.  Fortunately for the many visitors from around the world to the terrain of those great struggles during the 1950s and 1960s, Alabama has not only maintained that trail of horror, violence, pride, and justice, but now celebrates it as the beginning of a new era in state history.  Frye Gaillard has now provided a guide book worthy of the events that transpired there."
—Dr. Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus, Auburn University

"Frye Gaillard's Alabama's Civil Rights Trail broadens the [civil rights] story considerably by examining in-detail the people and events in Alabama that helped to accelerate the struggle for human rights. For Gaillard, every individual and each act of resistance that helped to secure consitutional liberties for African Americans deserves recognition. ... Alabama's Civil Rights Trail offers both scholars and an interested public a refreshing resource for examining the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama."--Southern Historian

"Gaillard is also to be commended for the breadth of this book. The 23 cities included in the guide span the full length of the state, from Florence to Bayou la Batre. In contrast, the state tourism department’s civil rights trail guide covers only five cities, Birmingham, Greensboro, Selma, Montgomery and Tuskegee. Gaillard’s more inclusive view of the important sites throughout the state provides us with a much more accurate picture and reflects the scholarship of his previous works on Alabama’s rich civil rights history."--Mobile Press-Register

Library Journal
Alabama was at the center of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and there are many significant historical locations around the state. Gaillard (Prophet from Plains: Jimmy Carter and His Legacy) has parsed out significant historical sites by location and woven them together with captivating stories of events and the personalities involved in them. The reader is given a list of places to see on a tour of historical locations, and the tales bring the sites to life. The book is peppered with black-and-white photographs of people, buildings, statues, and many other items covered in the text. Also included are maps and a time line of events. VERDICT This book walks a fine line between academic and popular and will be enjoyed by lovers of history and place as well as readers interested in learning more about the Civil Rights Movement and locations of significance in Alabama.—Anna Creech, Univ. of Richmond Lib., VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817355814
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Series: Alabama The Forge of History Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 1,413,077
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Frye Gaillard has been a journalist for the Associated Press and the Charlotte Observer. He is the author of Race, Rock and Religion: Profiles from a Southern Journalist, The Dream Long Deferred: The Landmark Struggle for Desegregation in Charlotte, North Carolina, Becoming Truly Free: 300 Years of Black History in the Carolinas, and Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America. He is currently writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Juan Williams is a leading political commentator, journalist, and intellectual of American cultural life. He is the author of Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience, and Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965, the companion volume to PBS’s landmark documentary of the same name.

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Table of Contents

Alabama's Civil Rights Timeline ix

Abbreviations xv

Foreword xvii

Introduction xxiii

1 The Montgomery Story: Hallowed Ground 1

Drawing the Line E. D. Nixon Rosa Parks 2

Sidebar: Flip Side of the Marker 10

Men of God Vernon Johns Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 11

A White Preacher's Courage Robert Graetz 20

The Frank M. Johnson Federal Courthouse: Victory in the Courts 23

The Freedom Riders 29

Sidebar: The Legacy of Alabama State University 30

Food for the Body and Soul Georgia Gilmore 38

The Southern Poverty Law Center: Keeper of the Flame 41

Sidebar: City of St. Jude 42

2 Birmingham and the American Conscience 49

the Children Dr. King 50

Boutwell Auditorium: Dark Days Ahead 59

Birmingham's Man of Steel Fred Shuttlesworth 62

Sidebar: Miles College: "We Shall Overcome" 63

Armstrong's Barber Shop and the "Ushers" 70

Sidebar: Birmingham and the Freedom Rides 76

The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church: Four Little Girls 74

Sidebar: The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 84

3 Selma and the Right to Vote 87

The Quiet Beginning 89

The Courthouse and Sheriff Jim Clark 93

Sidebar: Another Boynton in History 94

Sidebar: Malcolm X in Selma 100

The Edmund Pettus Bridge: Bloody Sunday and Beyond 102

Selma University: Cradle of Heroes 110

Sidebar: Dr. Sullivan Jackson's House 111

Sidebar: Church and State 112

Alabama's First Black Congressman 114

Selma: City of Museums 117

4 Revolution in the Black Belt 123

Lowndes County: Two Martyrs and the Vote 125

Sidebar: Highway 80: The Road to Freedom 133

The Black Panthers 134

The Martyrdom of Jimmie Lee Jackson 138

Coretta Scott King: First Lady of the Movement 145

The Quilts of Gee's Bend, Wilcox County 150

Marengo County: Reclaiming the History 156

Sidebar: James Haskins, 1941-2005 163

Hale County's Safe House 164

Greene County and Dr. King's Farewell 167

5 Tuscaloosa and the Schoolhouse Door 171

George Wallace Makes His Stand 173

The Ordeal of Autherine Lucy 180

Sidebar: The Making of a Mob 186

Sidebar: First African Baptist Church 188

RFK: A Measure of Change 191

The Curious Legacy of "The Bear" 194

6 The Tuskegee Story 197

Booker T. Washington: Lifting the Veil 199

The Tuskegee Airmen 204

Sidebar: The Carver Museum 205

Shiloh: Rosenwald Schools and the Syphilis Study 212

Dr. Gomillion and the Vote 217

SNCC and the Killing of Sammy Younge Jr. 222

Sidebar: A Transfer of Power 227

Sidebar: "Invisible Man" 228

7 The Burning Bus and the Alabama Hills 229

Anniston: The Library and the Bus 231

Gadsden and the Cattle Prods 238

Talladega College and the Amistad Murals 243

Sidebar: The Message of Jerry "Boogie" McCain 244

Huntsville: A History in Pieces 249

Sidebar: Dred Scott, Little Richard, and Oakwood University 255

8 Mobile: City of Progress, City of Backlash 257

John LeFlore, Joseph Langan, and NOW 259

Spring Hill College: The First to Integrate 267

Africatown and the Last Slave Ship 272

Sidebar: Wallace Turnage: "A Slave No More" 277

Completing the Journey Hank Aaron 280

The Last Lynching, Death to the Klan 283

Southern Justice in Mobile 287

9 Other Places of Interest 293

The New Old South Bayou La Batre 294

Sidebar: The Eastern Shore 299

Monroeville: The Community of Atticus Finch 298

Alabama Heroes Joe Louis Jesse Owens 304

The Legacy of Alabama Music 309

The Scottsboro Boys 314

Ardmore: Terror in the Night 319

Acknowledgments and Sources 323

Suggested Reading 331

Index 333

About the Authors 347

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