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76 Monuments of the
US Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement in the United States includes noted legislation & organized efforts to abolish public and private acts of racial discrimination against African Americans and other disadvantaged groups between 1954 (year of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education) & 1968 (year of Martin Luther King's assassination), particularly in the southern United States. (According to the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, 40 people were killed during this period.) The Movement is sometimes referred to as the Second Reconstruction, echoing the unresolved issues of the Reconstruction era in the United States (1863–1877).

Click here for monuments related to Human Rights. | Click here for monuments specifically related to Rev. Martin Luther King. Jr. | Click here for Waymarking collection of civil rights memorials. | Click here for the names & photos of the 40 civil rights martyrs.

Right click image to enlarge.

1942 - 1 monument

1942 - "An Incident in Contemporary American Life," Main Interior Building, Washington, DC (USA). Said to be the first civil rights monument. /// "In 1940, "before World War II, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes [1874-1952] commissioned Mitchell Jamieson [1915-1976] to paint a mural for the new Interior [Department] Building depicting the Marian Anderson [1897-1993] concert on the National Mall [on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939]... Ickes & First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had organized this concert after Anderson was denied [by the DAR] singing at Constitution Hall due to the color of her skin. In the mural, Jamieson concentrates on the [biracial] crowd, even giving us portraits of individuals that we would be standing next to, straining to hear the concert which inaugurated the use of the Lincoln Memorial as a sight for civil rights protests." /// "Ickes was a strong supporter of both civil rights & civil liberties. He had been the president of the Chicago National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He encouraged private contractors working for the Public Works Administration (PWA) to hire both skilled & unskilled blacks... In 1933, Ickes ended segregation in the cafeteria & rest rooms of his department, including the national parks around the country. In a news conference on the eve of Thanksgiving 1938, Ickes proposed offering Alaska as a 'haven for Jewish refugees from Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews are subjected to oppressive restrictions.' The proposal was designed to bypass normal immigration quotas, because Alaska was not [yet] a state... [In 1939, Ickes] supported African American contralto Marian Anderson when the Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR] prohibited her from performing in DAR Constitution Hall. Ickes was the organizer & master of ceremonies at Anderson's subsequent concert at the Lincoln Memorial... In 1945, As an official delegate to the founding United Nations conference in San Francisco, Ickes advocated for stronger language promoting self-rule & eventual independence for the world's colonies."

1943-1953- - No monument found

1954- - 1 monument

May 17, 1954 - US Supreme Court rules against the "separate but equal" doctrine in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and in Bolling v. Sharpe, thus overturning Plessy v. Ferguson. Combined five cases: Brown itself, Briggs v. Elliott (filed in South Carolina), Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (filed in Virginia), Gebhart v. Belton (filed in Delaware) & Bolling v. Sharpe (filed in Washington D.C.).

1954 - Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Constructed in 1877. Became an "unintentional monument" in 1954-1960 during pastorate of Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-1968] who ran the successful 385-day Montgomery Bus Boycott from his basement office. King also preached here in 1968 four months before his assassination. Name changed to honor King in 1978. Only Civil Rights Movement church to be designated a National Historic Landmark. Entry #008 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Visited by EWL.

1955-1959 - 2 monuments

August 24, 1955 - Bryant's Grocery & Meat Market, Money, Mississippi (USA). Unintentional monument. "The store that [black] Emmett Till [1941-1955] walked into on August 24, 1955, where he interacted with a [white] woman related to his murderers. Photo taken in March 2009." Described on pages 279-280 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004).

December 1, 1955 – Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus, starting the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

September 1957 - Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas (USA). Unintentional monument. Where African-American students (the "Little Rock Nine") enrolled under the protection of federal troops sent by President Eisenhower. See Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (created by Congress in 1998, Visitors Center opened in 2006).

1960-1964 - 6 monuments

February 1, 1960 - F. W. Woolworth Store, 134 South Elm Street, Greensboro, North Carolina (USA), Unintentional monument. Site of the first Greensboro Sit-in "which launched a wave of anti-segregation sit-ins across the South & opened a national awareness of the depth of segregation in the nation. Within weeks, sit-in campaigns began in nearly a dozen cities, primarily targeting F.W. Woolworth, S. H. Kress & store of other national chains." The store's lunch counter is now preserved in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. The store itself is now a museum (qv) which opened on the 50th anniversary of the sit-in (February 1, 2010).

May 20, 1961 - Greyhound Bus Station, 210 South Court Street (corner of Court Street & Adams Avenue), Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Unintentional monument. Became Freedom Rides Museum in May 2011. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when? ...Will someone else's children have to risk their lives instead of us risking ours?" Freedom Rider (later Congressman) John Lewis, May 1961. "Learn how 21 young people helped change our nation’s history using nonviolent protest. Black & white, male & female, none of them was older than 22. They stepped off of a bus at this station on May 20, 1961."
April 16, 1963 - Martin Luther King, Jr., writes Letter from Birmingham Jail - also known as "The Negro Is Your Brother." Date? - Bronze casting of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, Birmingham jail-cell door, Freedom Park, Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia (USA).
June 12, 1963 - Medgar Wiley Evers House Museum, 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive, Jackson, Mississippi (USA). Unintentional monument. Now owned & operated as a museum by Tougaloo College. "Where the NAACP's first full-time field secretary in Mississippi lived & was murdered in 1963." /// "Built for the Evers family in 1957. The only house on the street with no front door. The family thought it would be safer if the entrance to the house was adjacent to the carport." Medgar Evers [1925-1963] was shot & killed in this driveway on June 12, 1963. Entry #553 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1963 - Grave of Medgar Evers, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (USA).

August 28, 1963 - March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom, Washington, DC (USA). "One of the largest political rallies for human rights in US history. Calls for civil & economic rights for African Americans. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivers his historic 'I Have a Dream' speech advocating racial harmony." Attended by EWL.

September 15, 1963 - 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama (USA). Unintentional monument. Accross the street from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (qv). "Bombed on Sunday, September 15, 1963, as an act of racially motivated terrorism. The explosion at the African-American church, which killed four girls, marked a turning point in the US 1960's Civil Rights Movement & contributed to support for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Visited by EWL.

June 1964 - Freedom Summer, Mississippi (USA). A 10-week project launched in June to register African American voters. Set up dozens of Freedom Schools, Freedom Houses & community centers in small towns throughout the state. Many white residents deeply resented the presence of outsiders & routinely harassed project volunteers. Four civil rights workers were killed (one in a head-on collision), & at least three Mississippi blacks were murdered.

June 16, 1964 - Mount Zion Methodist Church, County Line Road, Longdale Road, near Philadelphia, Neshoba County, Mississippi (USA). Unintentional monument with historical marker. "Burned down on June 16, 1964, for supporting the civil rights Movement. Chaney, Goodman & Schwerner investigated the arson before they were murdered on June 21, 1964. A plaque near the front door of the rebuilt church pays tribute to the slain three." Entry #554 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
After June 21, 1964 - James Chaney Gravesite, Okatibbee Cemetery, Fish Lodge Road off Valley Road, Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi (USA). James Chaney [1943-1964] was murdered on June 21, 1964, at the age of 23 while carrying on his work for civil rights (along with Goodman & Schwerner). Entry #555 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

July 2, 1964 - Civil Rights Act of 1964, "a landmark piece of federal legislation that outlaws major forms of discrimination against African Americans & women, including racial segregation. End unequal application of voter registration requirements & segregation in schools, at the workplace & by facilities that serve the general public ('public accommodations')."

Summer 1964 - Atlantic City, New Jersey (USA). Fannie Lou Hamer of Mississippi challenges the all-white makeup of political candidates at the 1964 Democratic Convention.

1965-1969 - 6 monuments

After February 26, 1965 - Jimmie Lee Jackson Gravesite, Heard Cemetery, off Highway 14, Perry County, Alabama (USA). Inscribed "He was killed for man's freedom." Jimmie Lee Jackson [1938-1965] was murdered on February 26, 1965 (one of several people murdured during the nonviolent protests of that year). This section of Highway 14 is possibly the longest road in the nation named for MLK." #010 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

March 7, 1965 - Browns Chapel AME Church, 410 Martin Luther King Street, Selma, Dallas County, Alabama (USA). Unintentional monument. "Starting point for the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 & meeting place & offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) during the Selma Movement. Thus played a major role in the events that led to the adoption of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The nation's reaction to Selma's 'Bloody Sunday' march is widely credited with making the passage of the Voting Rights Act politically viable in the US Congress." Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997. Note 1979 & 2010 monuments in front of church (qv). #011 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Visited by EWL.

March 7, 1965 - Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama (USA). Unintentional monument. Carries US Highway 80 across the Alabama River. Built in 1940 & named for Edmund Winston Pettus, a former Confederate brigadier general and US Senator from Alabama. Famous as the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when armed officers attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to march to the state capital of Montgomery. Visited by EWL.

August 6, 1965 - Voting Rights Act of 1965, "a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S."

April 4, 1968 - Lorraine Motel, 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee (USA). Unintentional monument. Where Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-1968] was killed. Motel sign & facade, King's room, his two cars & boarding house across the street from which the fatal shot was fired were preserved in 1991 as part of the National Civil Rights Museum (qv). Click here for all MLK monuments.

1969 - Orangeburg Massacre Memorial, South Carolina State University, 300 College Street, Orangeburg, South Carolina (USA). Granite marker commemorates the killing of three students (& wounding of 28) during a police riot on February 8, 1968. #923 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
Date? - Smith-Hammond-Middleton (S-H-M) Memorial Center, Orangeburg, South Carolina (USA). "A 3,200-seat multi-purpose arena in named in memory of Smith Hammond, Delano Middleton Henry Smith, who died in the Orangeburg Massacre. It is home to the South Carolina State University Bulldogs basketball team." #924 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1969 - "That Which Might Have Been: Birmingham 1963," Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, 4027 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, Arizona (USA). "By John Henry Waddell. Inscribed on plaque: "Symbolizing the unfulfilled maturity of four girls killed in the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963. Dedicated to the understand of the beauty of individual difference." /// "Although this was created because of [the sculptor's] reaction to the tragedy, many people objected to the girls' nudity & how they are depicted as adults. The artist received worldwide recognition for this sculpture... A second casting was later dedicated in Birmingham, Alabama" - but where?

1970-1974 - no monument (lull)

1975-1979 - 3 monuments

1976 - Chaney, Goodman & Schwerner Memorial, Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, 257 Carver Avenue, Philadelphia, Mississippi (USA). "Commemorates the three Movement workers slain on June 21, 1964, in Longdale, Mississippi. Lillie Jones headed fund-raising for the memorial." Entry #556 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1977 - Grave of Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruleville, Mississippi (USA). Fannie Lou Hamer [1917-1977] was a voting rights activist & civil rights leader. Tombstone engraved "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." Entry #557 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

August 11, 1979 - "I Had a Dream" Monument, Browns Chapel AME Church, 410 Martin Luther King Street, Selma, Dallas County, Alabama (USA). Inscription on left portion: "I Had A Dream, They Gave Their Lives to overcome injustice and secure the right to vote for all Americans: James J. Reeb, Boston; Viola Gregg Liuzzo, Detroit; Jimmy Lee Jackson, Marion, Alabama. Dedicated August 11, 1979. This was the starting point of the march from Selma to Montgomery March 21, 1965. Project Conceived and Edited by Executive Secretary Robert H. Miller 1896-1979." /// Right portion with bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., was added November 6, 2010. Visited by EWL.

1980-1984 - no monument

1985-1989 - 2 monuments

1987 - "The first annual Evelyn Gibson Lowery Civil Rights-Heritage Tour visits several historic sites & meets with people instrumental in the Movement. Students, seniors, elected officials, dignitaries & celebrities have joined the tour over the years." Mrs. Lowrey will subsequent erect 13 monuments along the route of the tour (qv).

After 1988 - "A Monument: The Birmingham Jail," African Village in America, 912 Nassau Street, Woodland Park neighborhood, Birmingham, Alabama (USA). By folk artist Joe Minter. "The jail cell that helped change the United States. From this cell Martin Luther King wrote his Birmingham letter." /// African Village in America is "is an homage to the social & spiritual struggle of African Americans in America." Note that sign reads "African Village in America: Tribuation, Patience, Experience, Hope."

1989 - Civil Rights Memorial, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Water table (fountain) by Maya Lin. A memorial to 40 people who died between 1954 (year of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education) and 1968 (year of Martin Luther King's assassination.) Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC) was added behind the fountain in 2005. Entry #007 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Visited by EWL.

1990-1994 - 12 monuments (surge)

June 7, 1991 - Memorial Window, Sage Chapel, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (USA). Honors Schwerner, Chaney & Goodman, killed in Mississippi in 1964. Schwerner was Cornell Class of 1961. Goodman was the son of two Cornellians.

1991 - Monument to Viola Gregg Liuzzo [1925-1965], highway between Selma & Montgomery, Loundesboro, Alabama (USA). "This brave [Unitarian] civil rights heroine of Detroit, Michigan, was killed by Ku Klux Klansmen, after the Selma-Montgomery March in 1965. Since Mrs. [Evelyn G.] Lowery established & dedicated this monument in 1991, it has been defaced & vandalized many times. But it still stands strong & tall as a testimony to the promise that 'We Shall Overcome!'" One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC. /// Entry #005 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Monument is isolated on side of the highway where the murder took place. A fence has been constructed to protect it from further vandalism. Visited by EWL.

September 28, 1991 - National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM), 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee (USA). Includes sign, facade & balcony of Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Lobby contains World Peace Flame from the Netherlands (qv). Click here for the Wikipedia article. Entry #932 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Described on pages 321-322 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008). Visited by EWL.

September 28, 1991 - "Movement to Overcome" (Civil Rights Monument), National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM), 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee (USA). Bronze sculpture constructed on site by Michael Pavlovsky. Visited by EWL.

December 1, 1991 - Jimmie Lee Jackson Memorial Marker, Marion, Perry County, Alabama (USA). "Jimmie's death at the hands of Alabama State Troopers led to the Selma-Montgomery March & the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act. We established this memorial in his honor in 1991." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

June 28, 1992 - Statue of Medgar Wiley Evers, 4215 Medgar Evers Boulevard, Jackson, Mississippi (USA). Just north of the Medger Evers Branch of the Jackson Public Library. "A life-size 500-pound statue by sculptor Jay Warren." Medgar Evers [1925-1963] was assaninated at his home in Jackson on June 12, 1963, at age 37. Inscribed "Dedicated to everyone who believes in peace, love and non-violence; Let's keep the torch burning." Entry #551 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
Date? - Evers-King Monument, Freedom Corner (Medger Evers Street at MLK Boulevard), Jackson, Mississippi (USA). "Stone slab with pictures of Evers & King & inscription." Entry #550 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). NB: Image on page 115 of Bennett's book is different (smaller & pointed on top).

1992 - Albany Movement Monument, West Highland & Jackson Streets, Albany, Geoegia (USA). "Four black granite slabs with historical chronologies & quotations surround a fountain. Names of local Movement activists are etched in white stones around a brick periphery." /// "The Albany Movement was a desegregation coalition formed on November 17, 1961. In December 1961, Martin Luther King, Jr., & the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) became involved. The Movement mobilized thousands of citizens & attracted nationwide attention but failed to accomplish its goals because of a determined opposition. However, it was credited as a key lesson in strategy & tactics for the national civil rights movement." #231 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1992 - Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama (USA). "Completely renovated & rededicated as 'A Place of Revolution & Reconciliation' to coincide with the opening of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (qv), an interpretive museum & research center, which adjoins the park to the west. /// "Where much of the critical action of the civil rights movement took place. Now a carefully groomed park with nine sculptures commemorating the fight for equal rights in a city many black residents in the 1960's believed was one of the most racist... One statue shows a policeman holding a dog on a leash. The dog is lunging at a black youth. A little farther along the path are three angry dogs [upper image] leaping out of the sides of two walls. Even though the animals are sculptures, I got cold chills when I walked between them. On the audio tape, a woman who had been a young girl at the time talked about how they built up their nerve to face the dogs, the high-pressure water hoses & the beatings." /// Lower image is "Memorial of Student Civil Rights Protestors being hosed by high pressure water guns. " /// Visited by EWL. 1992 - "The Kneeling Ministers," Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama (USA). Limestone sculpture by Raymond Kasky. "The statue of ministers kneeling in prayer in Kelly Ingram Park--site of the 1963 demonstrations--is based on a photograph of the Rev. John Thomas Porter, the Rev. Nelson H. Smith, Jr., & the Rev. A. D. King taken [April 7, 1963] moments before they were arrested."

1992 - Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520-16th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama (USA). "A large interpretive museum and research center. Depicts the struggles of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's & 1960's." Entry #001 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001). Visited by EWL.

1993 - National Voting Rights Museum & Institute (NVRM), 1020 Water Avenue, Selma, Alabama (USA). "Serves as a living reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants." #013 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1993 - Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, 460 Martin Luther King Jr. Bouleard, Savannah, Georgia (USA). "Chronicles the civil rights struggle of Georgia's oldest African American community. Three floors feature historic photographic and interactive exhibits, including an NAACP organizational exhibit and a fiber-optic map of 87 significant civil rights sites and events." Described on pages 159-160 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004).

1995-1999 - 3 monuments

1996 - "A Landmark for Peace," MLK Park, one block west of 17th Street & College Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana (USA). Marks the spot where presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy [1926-1968] announced on April 4, 1968, to a large, mostly Black audience that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. [1929-1968] had just been assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. (Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968.) Designed by Indiana artist Greg Perry, the monument includes busts of King & Kennedy sculpted by controversial artist Daniel Edwards from handguns melted down after a police buy back program. Click here for a description by Rev. Chris Buice of Knoxville, Tennessee, including text of Kennedy's speech which helped prevent race riots as occured in at least 110 other US cities. Click here for a 2009 video about the event and monument. Click here for air view of the park & monument. A plaque credits Diane Meyer Simon and various Simon family interests as major contributors. The plaque also says that the monument is "Dedicated to the memory of Larry Conrad" but says nothing about Conrad (a local lawyer and Democratic politician who died in 1990). Visited by EWL 08Aug09.

1996 - Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, Alabama (USA). Commemorates the events, people & 54-mile route of the 1965 Voting Rights Marchs in Alabama. A component of the National Trails System administered by the National Park Service (NPS). Also designated a National Scenic Byway/All-American Road by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). Right image shows some of the monuments erected along the trail by Evelyn Gibson Lowery.

November 1998 - Albany Civil Rights Institute (ACRI), Old Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 326 Whitney Avenue, Albany, Georgia (USA). "Interactive window into one of the most compelling and passionate times in history – The Albany Movement! Captures stories that emphasize the roles “ordinary” people can play in creating effective change agents." /// "Features work of SNCC photographer Danny Lyon." #230 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

2000-2004 - 14 monuments

April 2000 - Freedom Summer Memorial, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (USA). Across the street from the Kumler Chapel. Commemorates Freedom Summer training conducted in June 1964 at the Western College for Women (now Miami University) & the role those trainees played in the civil rights movement. Also remembers the sacrifices of the three murdered civil rights workers, Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney & Andrew Goodman, who attended the training.

2000 - "Soda Fountain," Wichita, Kansas (USA). 20-foot bronze by Georgia Gerber on the former site of the F. W. Woolworth dime store... Memorializes the months of African-American college student sit-ins in the former Wichita Woolworth's lunch counter [sic] at the start of the civil rights movement... One July day [in 1958], Carol Parks Hahn led a group of 30 students from the local NAACP into Dockum's Drug Store in downtown Wichita, where they could get food to go, but not eat at the counter. Every day, they took 2- to 3-hour shifts. There was no violence, but the white customers took their business elsewhere. Finally, after 3 weeks, the Dockums desegregated the counters at all 9 of their stores. This was 18 months before four students sat down at the Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina, but it's that counter that's in the Smithsonian [sic]."

December 1, 2000 - Rosa Parks Library & Museum, Troy University, Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Dedicated on 45th anniversary of Parks' bus protest at this site. Right image is historical marker in front of the museum. Visited by EWL.

March 3, 2001 - Bridge to Freedom Memorial Park, Broad Street (US Highway 80), Selma, Alabama (USA). A poorly maintained collection of folk murals & small monuments just south of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. "Monuments remember the protestors, & trails lead through woods with Spanish moss." Lower left image shows a pile of 12 stones symbolic of the Israelites making such a monument as they crossed the Jordan River. Lower center image shows 3 monuments (qv) erected by Evelyn Lowrey of Atlanta, Georgia, in memory of Hosea Williams (2002), John Lewis (2004) & Marie Foster & Amelia Boynton (2005). Lower right image shows Civil Rights Memorial Mural. "The writing on the wall gives credit to 'Liberation Summer Project-Class of 1999,' Pictured are Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. James Reeb & Jimmie Lee Jackson." Visited by EWL.

2001 - Earl T. Shinhoster Memorial Marker, where? (USA). "In 2001, we dedicated this marker in tribute to this international civil rights activist & former NAACP leader. We were also responsible for the Tuskeegee, Alabama, exit named for him on Highway 85 South." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC. Earl T. Shinhoster [1950-2000] was "a tireless and versatile foot soldier for civil rights...from his days as a youth council member in the 1960's to his tenure as acting executive director of the NAACP." He was killed in an accident [near Montgomery, Alabama] caused by the blowout of a Firestone tire.

November 2001 - Civil Rights Garden, Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City at MLK Boulevard, New Jersey (USA). A block off the Boardwalk. "A tranquil public sculpture garden comprised of 11 granite columns, winding pathways, plants, flowers, Gingko trees & sculptures with inscriptions related to the history, events & people of the Civil Rights movement." /// "One of Atlantic City's most breathtaking spots. Cost $2 million to construct." /// "Setting for the annual Fannie Lou Hamer commemorative ceremony. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Hamer challenged the all-white makeup of political candidates at the 1964 Democratic Convention held in Atlantic City."

March 3, 2002 - Reverend Hosea Williams Memorial, Civil Rights Memorial Park, Broad Street (US Highway 80), Selma, Alabama (USA). "We established our first Freedom Park Memorial/Marker on March 3, 2002, in memory of this courageous leader in the Bloody Sunday March." Inscription: "Leader of The Selma-Montgomery March, 'Bloody Sunday,' March 7, 1965. 'He Fed The Hungry' 'Unbossed and Unbought' 1926-2000." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

2002 - Reverend James Orange Marker, where? (USA). "Reverend Orange was jailed as a leader in the struggle for voting rights in Perry County, Alabama, in 1965. We established this marker in 2002." Inscribed Hey Leader! One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.
2002 - Civil Rights Freedom Wall, Perry County, Alabama (USA). "This Memorial pays tribute to all of the movement people in Perry County. We established this memorial in 2002." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

March 7, 2004 - The Albert Turner, Sr. Marker, Marion, Alabama (USA). "On March 7, 2004, Albert Turner, Sr. was honored for his leadership in Marion, Alabama, and bravery in the Bloody Sunday March of 1965." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.
March 7, 2004 - Congressman John Lewis Marker, Civil Rights Memorial Park, Broad Street (US Highway 80), Selma, Alabama (USA).. "On March 7, 2004, Congressman Lewis was honored for his leadership and bravery in the Bloody Sunday March of 1965." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

April 23, 2004 - Tribute to Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr., Columbia, South Carolina (USA). Sculpted by Mariah Kirby-Smith. Depicts civil rights pioneer Matthew J. Perry, Jr. [1921-2011], South Carolina's first African-American United States District Judge, talking to three children.

May 17, 2004 - Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, National Park Service (NPS), 15th & Monroe Streets, Topeka, Kansas (USA). "Opened 50 years to the day after the announcement of the US Supreme Court decision that 'separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.'" Described on pages 335-337 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004). Visited by EWL.

2004 - International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Created to "pay homage to the 'brave warriors' of justice who sacrificed and struggled to make equality a reality for all." Includes footsteps in granite & bronze of each honoree. (Note Gandhi statue & NPS visitors center in rear of left image.) Visited by EWL.

2005-2009 - 11 monuments

March 6, 2005 - Civil Rights Freedom Wall of the City of Selma, on the grounds of Browns Chapel Church, Selma, Dallas County, Alabama (USA). "This memorial pays tribute to all of the movement people in the City of Selma and all of Dallas County, Alabama." Monument inscribed with "Roll Call Of Freedom Fighters." 1950-2000. One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

March 7, 2005 - James Reeb Memorial, Sidewalk, Selma, Alabama (USA). On March 9, 1965 (two days after "Bloody Sunday", three Unitarian Universalist ministers -- Clark Olsen, Orloff Miller and James Reeb [1927-1965] -- were attacked near this spot after leaving Strong's Restaurant (then called Walker's Cafe). Reeb died two days later. Photo by EWL during dedication ceremony shows Rev. Clark Olsen (speaking) & Evelyn Gibson Lowery (looking on), wife of Rev. Joseph P. Lowery. One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC. Photo by EWL.
March 2005 - Reverend James Reeb Memorial Marker, Washington Street, Selma, Alabama (USA). "In March, 2005, we unveiled a memorial honoring this Unitarian Universalist Minister from Boston. The memorial is located on Washington Street in downtown Selma, Alabama, marking the place where he was beaten to death while he was walking down the street." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.
Before 2005 - Reverend James Reeb Memorial, Old Depot Museum (former Selma-Dallas County Museum of History & Archives Inc.), Water Street, Selma, Alabama (USA). Inscribed In honor of James Joseph Reeb, 1927-1965, 'This good man.'" (paraphrasing President Lyndon Johnson). /// Said to be unacceptable to Blacks because financed by Whites & placed at musuem which neglects Black history. Visited by EWL.

March 7, 2005 - Marie Foster & Amelia Boynton Memorial Marker, Civil Rights Memorial Park, Broad Street (US Highway 80), Selma, Alabama (USA). "This memorial was dedicated on March 7, 2005, in honor of these two women who were voting rights leaders of the Selma-Montgomery March of 1965." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

2005 - Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Montgomery, Alabama (USA). "Adjacent to the Civil Rights Memorial (qv). In addition to exhibits about Civil Rights Movement martyrs, the Memorial Center houses a 56-seat theater, a classroom for educational activities & and the Wall of Tolerance." The names of more than half a million people who have pledged to take a stand against hate & work for justice & tolerance in their daily lives flow continuously down the 20-by-40 foot wall. Visitors have the opportunity to take the pledge & add their names to the Wall during their visit.

August 2005 - "Testament," State Capitol Grounds, Little Rock, Arkansas (USA). Statues of the "Little Rock Nine" who integrated Central High School (qv) in 1957. Right image shows some of the original nine visiting statues of themselves.

April 22, 2006 - Rosa Louise Parks Memorial, Alabama State University, 915 South Jackson Street, Montgomery, Alabama (USA). "Evelyn Gibson Lowery unveiled, April 22, 2006." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC.

2006 - Green McAdoo Cultural Center & Museum, Clinton, Tennessee (USA). Celebrates the "Clinton 12," the first students to desegregate a state-supported high school in the South. Bronze sculpture by William F. (Bill) Duffy dedicated on May 17, 2007. See film by Oak Ridge film-maker Keith McDaniel. Visited by EWL.

Fall 2006 - Visitors Center, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Little Rock, Arkansas (USA). Establised by Congress on November 6, 1998. Administered in partnership of National Park Service, Little Rock Public Schools, the City of Little Rock & others. Diagonally across the street from the high school & across from the "Transcendence," the memorial dedicated by Michael Warrick (upper right). Contains exhibits on the Little Rock integration crisis in September 1957 (qv) & the larger context of desegregation during the 20th century & the Civil Rights Movement. Opposite the Visitor Center is (1) the Central High Commemorative Garden (lower left), which features nine trees & benches that honor the 'Little Rock Nine,' and (2) a historic Mobil gas station (lower right), which has been preserved in its appearance at the time of the crisis. At the time, it served as the area for the press & radio & TV reporters. It later served as a temporary Visitor Center before the new one was built."

October 1, 2006 - Civil Rights Monument, Lyceum, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi (USA). "Commemorates the efforts of James Meredith & others who strove to create educational opportunities for all citizens in the South." /// "The Lyceum was built in 1848 & designed by William Nichols, who also designed the old state capitol & the governor's mansion in Jackson. Previously, he had been the state architect for Alabama & North Carolina, where he also co-designed the state capitol in Raleigh. The Lyceum's most (in)famous moment came much later when it was the site of the riots surrounding James Meredith's integration of the university [in 1962]. Because of these events, the Lyceum & Circle were recently designated a National Historic Landmark."

November 19, 2006 - Statue of Two Sterling High School Students, Main Street at Washington Street, Greenville, South Carolina (USA). Sculpted by Mariah Kirby-Smith. Celebrates the students of Greenville's black high school whost protests and sit-ins helped bring about racial integration in 1970. At site of Woolworth department store where sit-ins took place. The former store was torn down c.2011 and, as of 2012, is being replaced by a new multi-use building called Washington Square. Visited by EWL.

September 8, 2007 - Coretta Scott King Memorial Monument, Mt. Tabor AME Zion Church, Coretta Scott King Memorial Highway, Heiberger, North Perry County, Alabama (USA). Inscribed "First lady of the modern day civil rights movement." One of 13 Heritage Tour Memorials erected by Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery & SCLC/WOMEN INC. Click here for video of unveiling. Born in Heiberger (10 miles north of Marion, Alabama), Coretta Scott King [1927-2006] was an author, activist & civil rights leader. "As the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., she helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's."

July 2008 - Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, State Capitol Grounds, Richmond, Virginia (USA). "Commemorates protests which helped bring about school desegregation in Virginia. Features 18 statues of leaders in the civil rights movement on four sides of a rectangular granite stone block onto which are carved quotes. Designed by Stanley Bleifeld. Cost $2.8 million which was financed by private donations".

2010-2017 - 8 monuments

February 1, 2010 - International Civil Rights Center & Museum, 134 South Elm Street, Greensboro, North Carolina (USA). In the original 1929 F.W. Woolworth building. Dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the sit-in movement. Has 14 exhibits focusing on the international struggle for civil & human rights, as well as artifacts from the civil rights era. Centerpiece is the historic lunch counter & original stools where four North Carolina A&T State University freshmen (Ezell Blair Jr., Franklin McCain, David Richmond & Joseph McNeil) sat down in nonviolent protest on Feb. 1, 1960. Co-founded by Melvin “Skip” Alston & Earl Jones. Entry #773 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
January 2010 - "Cup of Freedom," outside the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina (USA). By Charles Jenkins. "Jenkins didn’t consider himself an artist, and certainly not a sculptor. He’s a security officer who enjoys sketching — but just for fun. Never did he expect to be chosen among the artists whose designs would become bronze sculptures of artistically shaped coffee cups to be displayed in the city... In Jenkins’ sculpture, the cup rim became the lunch counter. Seated there are figures of the four N.C. A&T freshmen who launched the sit-ins [on February 1, 1960]..."

May 14, 2011 - St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument, near the corner of King & Charlotte Streets, Plaza De La Constitucion, St. Augustine, Florida (USA). "In remembrance of the people who engaged in various forms of peaceful protest in St. Augustine in the early 1960's to advance the cause of civil rights, contributing to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

May 10, 2012 - Stone Carving of Rosa Parks, Human Rights Porch, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC (USA). "The area includes likenesses of Oscar Romero, Eleanor Roosevelt & John T. Walker (first African American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington once arrested at a protest rally against apartheid at the South African Embassy)... The statue of Rosa Parks [1913-2005] was commissioned along with a carving of Mother Teresa that will be dedicated later this year."

- June 23, 2014 - Center for Civil & Human Rights (CCHR), 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard (at Penberton Place & Centennial Olympic Park Drive), Atlanta, Georgia (USA). 2.5-acre site. "...connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements... The Center was first imagined by civil rights legends Evelyn Lowery & former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young & was launched by former Mayor Shirley Franklin." /// "Executive Director is Doug Shipman. "commemorates not only the groundbreaking contributions of Atlantans & Georgians to the historic struggle for African-American freedom & equality, but also serves as a space for ongoing dialogue, study & contributions to the resolution of current & future freedom struggles of all people at local, national & international levels." (Pemberton Place is home of the Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coca Cola and is adjacent to Centennial Park which commemorates Atlanta's hosting of the 1996 Olympic Games.)

September 2015 - Louisville Downtown Civil Rights Trail, Louisville, Kentucky (USA). "Eleven markers along Fourth Street, the city’s primary corridor of restaurants, department stores & theaters. Through the 1950's, most white-owned establishments downtown excluded African Americans or treated them differently as customers -- for example, denying them the opportunity to try on clothes, to sit at lunch counters & to enter movie theaters. By winter 1961, small-scale demonstrations & efforts to secure legislation opening all such facilities had failed. The stirrings of protest activity that swept the South in the 1960's inspired African American teenagers who became the 'foot soldiers' of the struggle against discrimination in public accommodations in Louisville. Mass student demonstrations in spring 1961, a voter registration drive & a campaign to unseat an unsympathetic mayor & elect a new board of aldermen ultimately led to the passage of the public accommodations ordinance -- the first such law in the South." /// This is "Monday's Monument" #101.

October 4, 2016 - "Statue of Dr. George Simkins," Greensboro, North Carolina (USA). Simkins was a "longtime civil rights activist & Greensboro dentist, who served as the president of the Greensboro Branch NAACP from 1959 to 1984. In 1955, Simkins & several other Black men were arrested for trespassing after they played nine holes at the all-White, city-owned Gillespie Park Golf Course. He and the others appealed their convictions all the way to the US Supreme Court, which ruled against them by a 5 to 4 vote. NC Gov. Luther Hodges later commuted their sentences... The statue was presented by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation & the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro."

January 12, 2017 - Freedom Riders National Monument, Anniston, Alabama (USA). "Includes the Greyhound Bus station where a bus carrying an interracial group of activists was attacked in 1961." /// One of 5 new national monuments decreed at the same time by outgoing President Barak Obama under the Antiquities Act of 1906. ///

January 12, 2017 - Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Birmingham, Alabama (USA). "Includes portions of the Historic Birmingham Civil Rights District, including the A.G. Gaston Motel, the neighboring Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the 16th Street Baptist Church (where four black girls were killed in a KuKluxKlan bombing in 1963), Bethel Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, the Colored Masonic Temple, St. Paul Lutheran Church & portions of the 4th Avenue Business District." /// One of 5 new national monuments decreed at the same time by outgoing President Barak Obama under the Antiquities Act of 1906.


2017? - Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (MCRM), Jackson, Mississippi (USA). "Will document, exhibit the history of & educate the public about the American Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi between 1945 & 1970. Secured $20 million in funding from the Mississippi Legislature in April 2011... According to Mississippi state Senator John Horhn, it is the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the US." /// "Expected to be the last of the wave, opening in time for the state’s bicentennial celebration in 2017."

When were these monuments created?

The Civil Right Movement offers a case history of how an historic event is memorialized. During the event itself, (1954-1968 in this case - a total of about 15 years), preexisting structures are elevated over-night to the status of Unintentional Monuments, and intentional monuments are erected over the graves of Movement martyrs.

Two monuments are erected in 1969: The site of the Orangeburg Massacre is memorized almost as soon as it happens, and a controversial monument ("That Which Might Have Been: Birmingham 1963") is erected in far-off Arizona. Then there is a long lull (1969-1990 in this case - about 23 years), during which outcomes are still uncertain, wounds still raw, & events still fresh in the minds of participants & witnesses. Only three monuments are know to have been constructed during this lull - one in 1976, one in 1979 & the groundbreaking Civil Rights Memorial by Maya Lin in 1989.

Then (in 1991 - about 24 years after the Movement is over) comes a sudden rush to honor participants, preserve memories & create memorials for the edification of later generations. Major museums & monuments of all sizes are constructed. A dozen monuments are strewn across Alabama by Atlanta activist Evelyn Lowrey. Cities & states even appear to compete in the design and erection of monuments. Monuments, it seems, are a necessary symbol of membership in the club of places which contributed to civil rights success.

This period of construction & friendly competiton has already lasted 22 years (1991-2012) and is apparently not yet over. Already, 11 major museums have been opened, and more are in preparation, e.g. Atlanta and Mississippi.


Names of All Unintentional Monuments (in red)
Selection of Intentional Monuments (in black)
(excluding MLK monuments)
Number of

(ex MLK)
Kinds of Monuments
U = Unintentional monument
g = Grave | M = Major museum
el = Evelyn Lowrey monument
T = Trail | m = Other monument
1942 "An Incident in Contemporary American Life" (mural in Washington, DC)
1954 Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
1955-1959 Bryant's Grocery & Meat Market, Central High School
1960-1964 Woolworth Store, Greyhound Station, Evers Home, 16th St Baptist Ch, Mt Zion Meth Ch
U U U U U g
1965-1969 Browns Chapel, Pettus Bridge, Lorraine Motel, Orangeburg Mem, "Which Might Have Been"
g U U U m m
1975-1979 Chaney/Goodman/Schwerner Memorial, "I had a dream" monument in Selma
m g m
1985-1989 Civil Rights Memorial by Maya Lin
m m
1990-1994 Nat CR Museum, Birmingham CR Inst, Nat Voting Rts Museum, Ralph Gilbert CR Museum
m el M m el m m m m M M M
1995-1999 "A Landmark for Peace," Selma to Montgomery Nat Hist Trail, Albany CR Inst
m T M
2000-2004 Rosa Parks Museum, Bridge to Freedom Memorial Park, Brown v. Board NHS
m M m el m el el el el el m M m
2005-2009 CR Memorial Center, Green McAddo Museum, Central HS Visitors Center
el el el M m el M M m el m
2010-2012 International Civil Rights Center & Museum
m M m m
2014 Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta,
To Date
Mississippi CR Museum in Jackson

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