The Passage to Peace
Explore the roots of the Civil Rights Movement as well as the history and culture of the entertainment fields that were forever influenced by African American creators. Accompanied by local guides, you will gain insights about the Civil Rights movement in Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, Alabama; and Atlanta, Georgia. Along the way, you will also tour Stax Record Company, the Elvis Birthplace Museum, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, and the Negro Southern League Museum where you will learn about the icons who changed the entertainment industry. This tour is perfect for those who want to experience a cultural heritage.
7 Days /6 Nights
Estimated Tour Pricing Inclusions: Roundtrip transportation, 6 nights’ accommodation; baggage handling; 6 breakfasts; 4 lunches; 5 dinners; private motor coach transportation throughout; admissions, entrance, and guide fees as stated in the itinerary, including taxes, and gratuity (excluding gratuity for guides and driver, unless requested).Highlights:
- National Civil Rights Museum at Loraine Motel
- Stax Record Company
- Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum
- Bethel Baptist Church
- Kelly Ingram Park
- 16th Street Baptist Church
- Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame
- Negro Southern League Museum
- National Voting Rights Museum and Institute
- Lowdnes Interpretive Center
- Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration
- National Memorial for Peace and Justice
- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
- Troy University
- Rosa Parks Museum
- Civil Rights Memorial
- State Capital
- Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
- King's Center
- Ebenezer Baptist Church
- APEX Museum
- Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
Sample Itinerary: Day 1 - Arrive in Memphis
- Arrive in Memphis, TN.
- Enjoy a welcome dinner at The Four Way, a family-owned soul food restaurant.
- Check into your local hotel for the evening.
- Enjoy breakfast included at your hotel prior to checking out.
- Meet your local guide and tour the National Civil Rights Museum at Loraine Motel. Established in 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Through interactive exhibits, historic collections, dynamic speakers and special events, the museum offers visitors a chance to walk through history and learn more about a tumultuous and inspiring period of change.
- Visit Stax Record Company and enjoy movement music, create a group recording, and enjoy the stories of the legends who have recorded at Stax over the years. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of Stax Records and American soul music. Located on the original site of the Stax Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee, the Stax Museum pays special tribute to the artists who recorded there, as well as other American soul legends, with interactive exhibits, films, stage costumes, musical instruments, vintage recording equipment used at Stax, records, photographs, permanent and changing galleries, and a rare and amazing collection of more than 2,000 items of memorabilia and artifacts
- Pick up your brown bag lunch and board the motor coach to depart.
- Arrive in Tupelo and meet a local guide. Tour the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum and Presley’s house. View statues symbolizing Elvis’ life, tour the actual building where the Presley family attended church services, and walk the paths Elvis walked.
- Depart for Birmingham.
- Arrive in Birmingham, AL and dine at Bethel Baptist Church. Enjoy a Pass the Peach dinner with your experience giver. Located in the working-class neighborhood of Collegeville in Birmingham, Alabama, two amazing examples of perseverance and tenacity stand, Historic Bethel Baptist Church and Parsonage. These two structures reflect the Modern Civil Rights Movement and its leader, Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth. Built in 1926, Historic Bethel Baptist Church, Collegeville, became the epicenter for a non-violent protest movement that swept across the United States and around the world. Under the leadership of Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, Bethel became the official launching pad of the Modern Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Depart and check into a local hotel for the evening
- Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out.
- Tour Kelly Ingram Park which is named after the first sailor killed in World War 1. Meet a park ranger and tour the monuments including the AG Gaston Hotel and Anne Frank Tree. Kelly Ingram Park is an improved public park that contains emotionally powerful sculptures depicting the civil rights struggle in Birmingham. The park served as an assembly spot for activities of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other groups in the movement.
- Walk across the street and arrive at 16th Street Baptist Church and meet your experience giver on the front steps of the church, the site of the fatal bombing that killed 4 little girls on a September morning in 1963. Experience a powerful tour of the church that will bring this dark history to life.
- Enjoy lunch at the 16th Street Baptist Church.
- Meet a civil rights foot soldier on the steps of the 16th street Baptist church, where the children would gather before making the march.
- Follow the path of the children’s movement to Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, where you will enjoy learning the history of jazz artists from the south. Their mission is to preserve a continued and sustained program of illuminating the contributions of the State of Alabama through its citizens, environment, demographics, and lore, and perpetuating the heritage of jazz music. They honor the pioneers who shaped jazz history, the players, the teachers, and the community leaders who gave rise to the art form.
- Visit the Negro Southern League Museum, here you will see the history of the African American league baseball teams from the south. The Negro Southern League Museum (NSLM) tells the story of African-American baseball in America through the eyes of Birmingham, Alabama. The museum features the largest collection of original baseball artifacts in the country. NSLM also features an on-site research center that is supported by a research team made up of seven of the top researchers in Negro League and Southern League baseball history.
- Arrive in Selma and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
- Check into local hotel for the evening.
- Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.
- Meet your guide at your hotel and depart for a day tour of Selma.
- Arrive at the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute and enjoy a tour of the Museum and Bridge Crossing. The NVRMI exhibits materials and artifacts from the voting rights struggle in America, especially those that highlight the experiences, which fueled "Bloody Sunday”, the Selma to Montgomery March, and the Civil Rights Movement throughout the South. The NVRMI provides research forums, community action, and makes presentations that impact or support voting rights issues in America. From the Museum, the group will depart to begin the walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of the brutal Bloody Sunday beatings of civil rights marchers during the firs march for voting rights.
- Meet the bus after crossing the bridge and depart for lunch.
- Enjoy Lannie’s BBQ for lunch. Lannie’s was an important meeting spot during the planning of civil rights activities.
- Visit Lowdnes Interpretive Center. This National Park Service site is dedicated to those who peacefully marched from Selma to Montgomery to gain the right to vote. The center serves as a repository of information for the unfortunate and significant events that occurred in Lowndes County during the march. The museum houses exhibits on the death of seminarian Jonathan Daniels; the slaying of Viola Liuzzo, a white woman who assisted marchers by transporting them to Selma; and the establishment of “Tent City,” which housed families dislodged by white landowners in Lowndes County.
- Arrive in Montgomery, AL and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
- Check into a local hotel for the evening.
- Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and meet your guide.
- Tour the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. This museum is situated on a site in Montgomery where Black people were forced to labor in bondage. Blocks from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America, the Legacy Museum is steps away from the rail station where tens of thousands of Black people were trafficked during the 19th century. The Legacy Museum provides a comprehensive history of the United States with a focus on the legacy of slavery. From the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impact on the North and coastal communities across America through the Domestic Slave Trade and Reconstruction, the museum provides detailed interactive content and compelling narratives. Lynching, codified racial segregation, and the emergence of over-incarceration in the 20th century are examined in depth and brought to life through film, images, and first-person narratives.
- Stop at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and tour the first memorial of its kind dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.
- Visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church – the church where Dr. Martin Luther King’s took his first pastoring position. The church building was designated a national historic landmark on June 3, 1974, and Montgomery added the church to its list of historic sites on July 13, 1976. Today, thousands of national and international tourists annually visit the Church to be inspired by and educated on the history of the Church and it and Dr. King’s role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- Arrive at Troy University campus and enjoy lunch before touring the Rosa Parks Museum located on campus. Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum is an active memorial to the life of civil rights icon Rosa Parks and the lessons of the Montgomery Bus Boycott that brought racial integration to transportation and international attention to civil rights. Located in downtown Montgomery, Alabama at the site where Mrs. Parks was arrested, it is the nation’s only museum dedicated to Rosa Parks. Our mission is to honor her legacy and that of the boycott by providing a platform for scholarly dialogue, civic engagement, and positive social change.
- Visit the Civil Rights Memorial. On the Memorial’s circular, black granite table, water emerges from the center and flows evenly across a timeline, reminiscent of a sundial, that chronicles the major events of the movement and records the names of 40 men, women and children who were killed during the struggle. Behind the table, a thin sheet of water flows down a 40-foot-long curved, black granite wall on which the words “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” are inscribed.
- Arrive at the State Capital and tour the site of where the telegram was sent that started the Civil War and the site of the birth of the confederacy, where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the first and only president of the confederacy, and where in 1965 the march from Selma ended as the Civil Rights.
- Return to hotel for the evening and finish the night with dinner.
- Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.
- Check out and depart for Atlanta with a stop at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, the first African American military aviators in the nation’s history.
- Tour the King’s Center which includes an exhibition hall and the home where Martin Luther King Jr. was born. A young boy grows up in a time of segregation…A dreamer is moved by destiny into leadership of the modern civil rights movement…This was Martin Luther King, Jr. Come hear his story, visit the home of his birth, and where he played as a child. Walk in his footsteps and hear his voice in the church where he moved hearts and minds. Marvel at how he was an instrument for social change.
- Depart for lunch.
- Visit at Ebenezer Baptist Church where both Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife are buried.
- Experience the APEX Museum which traces the African American experience through videos, photographs, and artifacts. The APEX Museum is the oldest Black History Museum located in the city of Atlanta. It was founded in 1978 by veteran filmmaker Dan Moore Sr., who was inspired by the life of Dr. Benjamin Mays. The museum maintains a diverse and educating display by routinely changing its exhibits on a quarterly schedule and is the only museum in Metropolitan Atlanta solely dedicated to telling the rich and often untold story of people of the African Diaspora.
- Arrive at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Shortly after taking office as President, Jimmy Carter expressed interest in building a Presidential Library “someplace in Georgia.” The National Archives and Records Administration was invited to establish an office in the Old Executive Building to be staffed by archivists who could advise the White House staff on the preservation and arrangement of the twenty-seven million pages and other historical materials from the Carter presidency.
- Enjoy dinner at Paschal’s Soul Food. Located in the heart of the Historic Castleberry Hill Neighborhood you will find Paschal's Atlanta Restaurant, an icon complete with a rich history from six decades. Paschal's features signature soul food dishes.
- Check into a local hotel for the evening.
- After breakfast at your hotel, depart for home.
*Base rate does not include motor coach transportation, airfare, airport transfers, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, (student groups exempt) or any upgrades or add-ons unlisted from itinerary as stated. Pricing may vary based on day of arrival or other conditions. Personalized itineraries with custom pricing and/or additional transportation can be created and added based on client needs and upon client’s request. MARS will customize quotes or personalize itineraries for FREE.
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