In the South and North, New (and Vital) Civil Rights Trails

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tags: civil rights, Civil Rights Trails

Two years ago representatives from Southern state tourism departments gathered at Georgia State University to start work on what would become the nation’s first civil rights trail.

They knew their states were dotted with landmarks that commemorated significant events in the struggle for racial equality. In Arkansas, for example, there is Little Rock Central High School, where nine brave African-American students enrolled in an all-white high school. In Alabama the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site honors black pilots who risked their lives during World War II even as Jim Crow laws denied them rights at home.

While many sites were thriving on their own, some weren’t connected to one another, even ones nearby, said Lee Sentell, Alabama’s state tourism director. “No one had even done an inventory of civil rights landmarks,” he said. “They saw themselves as one-offs and didn’t realize they were part of a network.”

The group, under the umbrella of Travel South USA, decided to do something about it.

Read entire article at NYT

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