Take a Self-Guided Civil Rights Tour

Can’t participate in a Freedom Lifted tour yet?  There is a lot you can do on your own.

Lonely Planet has a decent Civil Rights tour map featuring some of the highlights from Atlanta to Memphis.

You can also download our mobile app or check out some of the tours developed by locals.

In addition, here are a few books we recommend you take on your next self guided journey:

On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail by Civil Rights Veteran Charles E. Cobb (2007)

cobbThis in-depth look at the civil rights movement goes to the places where pioneers of the movement marched, sat-in at lunch counters, gathered in churches; where they spoke, taught, and organized; where they were arrested, where they lost their lives, and where they triumphed.  Cobb, a former organizer and field secretary for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) guides us through Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, back to the real grassroots of the movement.  Go inside the organizations that framed the movement, travel on the “Freedom Rides” of 1961, and hear first-person accounts about the events that inspired Brown vs. Board of Education.  An essential piece of American history, this is also a useful travel guide with maps, photographs, and sidebars of background history, newspaper coverage, and firsthand interviews.

Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom by Frye Gaillard, Jennifer Lindsay, and Jane DeNeefe.  (2010)

FryeThis comprehensive book 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. 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.

Sacred Places: A Guide to the Civil Rights Sites in Atlanta, Georgia by Harry G. Lefever and Michael C. Page. (2008)

sacredThis guide is organized around four walking and driving tours of the important civil rights sites in Atlanta from the 1940s to the present. It also contains historic and current photographs of most of the sites and provides information about how to reach the sites by car or public transportation. Furthermore, the book provides a brief history of the civil rights movement in Atlanta in the 1950s and 1960s, a chronology of the important civil rights events in Atlanta from 1957 to 1968, and a bibliography of books and articles published about civil rights events in Atlanta during the 1950s and 1960s.

A Traveler’s Guide to the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Carrier (2004)

carrierPart guidebook, part civil rights primer, A Traveler’s Guide to the Civil Rights Movement this guide provides suggested state and city tours of these historic places and offers thoughtful commentary on the importance of each landmark, giving us a unique lens through which to view one of America’s most important social movements.  Includes suggested state and city tours in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Civil Rights in America:  A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites by The Department of the Interior (2014)

npsThis is a guide to all of the sites recognized by the National Park Service (NPS).  Many of these sites feature NPS interpretation centers.


Underground Railroad Resources Bibliography

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Bibliography

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