The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, is a memorial to 40 people who died in the struggle for equal and integrated treatment of people of European and African descent. The memorial is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There is a guard standing across the street from the memorial to prevent vandalism, while allowing people to experience this memorial.
The names included belong to those who died between 1954 and 1968. Those dates were chosen because in 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was unlawful and 1968 is the year of Martin Luther King's assassination. The monument was created by Maya Lin who also created a similar work, the "Women's Table", at Yale University and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.. The memorial was dedicated in 1989.
The concept of Maya Lin's design is based on the soothing and healing effect of water. It was inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quotation "... we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. ...", from the "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered at the National Mall, Washington D.C., August 28, 1963. This passage in King's speech is a direct reference to Amos 5:24, as translated in the King James version of the Bible. The memorial is a round stone inverted cone, which is a fountain. A film of water flows over the base of the cone, which contains the 40 names included. It is possible to touch the smooth film of water and temporarily alter the surface film, which quickly returns to smoothness.
As such, the memorial represents the aspiration of the American civil rights movement against racism.
Civil Rights Memorial Center hours of operation:
M-F 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Adult admission $2
Children are admitted free of charge
Group Tour Information
The Civil Rights Memorial Center, located at 400 Washington Ave. in Montgomery, Alabama, offers guided group tours lasting approximately one hour.
Tours are available by appointment, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Admission fees are waived for student groups in grades 4-12.
Students should be exposed to age-appropriate materials about the Civil Rights Movement prior to visiting the Memorial Center.
The memorial is within walking distance of other historic sites including the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Alabama State Capitol, the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum.
Coordinates: 32°22′35″N 86°18′12″W / 32.37626°N 86.303253°W
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