Civil Rights Tour

September 20, 2019 - 8:00am to September 22, 2019 - 8:00pm

Civil Rights Tour

When: Friday to Monday, Sept. 20-22
Pricing: Starts at $400 for singles; $800 for couples (more if you prefer your own hotel room)
Register: Please click here to RSVP by Monday, Aug. 5
Questions: Please contact Lucy Crain, director of mission and outreach

Join in the pilgrimage to some of the places where our nation's struggle for racial justice is continuously unfolding. Participants will encounter God, who suffers and hopes with us, through the stories of people who have faced inequality, violence, and even death as as result of their skin color.

Guided by experts, we will learn about the legacy of racism in America, examine our own participation in systems of racial oppression, and consider our present response as people of faith.

Tour will leave Charlotte very early on Friday morning and return late on Sunday evening. We will visit a lynching site and graveyard in Monroe, GA; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the National Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, GA; the Memorial for Preach and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL; the Voting Rights March Interpretive Center, Edmund Pettis Bridge and Brown's Chapel AME Church in Selma, AL; worship at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL; and visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

There will be some suggested readings ahead of time as well as an educational discussion time.  See below for itinerary details. 

Trip includes two nights accommodation, all museum and tour guide costs, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, transportation on a 54-passenger charter bus. (Dinner all three nights is on your own.)

Your commitment is needed by Monday, August 5. 
Partial scholarships are available. 

Itinerary Details - Day 1

Stop 1 – Moore’s Ford Bridge – Monroe, Ga. 
Site of the “last mass lynching in America” (term from Laura Wexler’s book Fire in a Canebarke).  On July 25, 1946 four young African Americans – George and Mae Murray Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Malcom – were shot multiple times by 12-15 white men in broad daylight at the Moore’s Ford bridge. 

After a lengthy FBI and SBI investigation none of the perpetrators were brought to justice, however the incident had a significant impact on President Harry Truman encouraging him to include a civil rights plank in the Democratic platform in 1948.  The case was reopened in the early 2000’s but with the same results as the original one. 

We will see the marker (the first of its kind in the US) commemorating the lynching, go to the site of the racial terrorism and to the gravesite of one of its victims.  More stories on the work of the Moore’s Ford Memorial Committee and the 14 reenactments of that event occurring every July will be discussed on the bus.  We will also see the movie Lynch Lawwhich chronicles the lynching.  For a brief description of the event and an update on the investigation, click here

Stop 2– Auburn Ave. - Atlanta
This area of Atlanta was known as “Sweet Auburn” and was an important black community for most of the 20th century.  In this area of segregated Atlanta, black businesses and churches thrived.  Close to 2 predominantly black universities (Morehouse and Atlanta) many prominent families lived there, including the Kings.  Martin Luther King, Sr. was appointed the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Ave. in 1931 and “rescued the church from near bankruptcy.” (Davis, 149). 

His son, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on Auburn Ave. and the National Park Service gives tours of the King birthplace.  MLK, Jr.  was appointed co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Churchin 1960 and remained in that position until his assassination in 1968.  Also on Auburn Ave. is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change where in the reflecting pool behind the center is the marble tomb where King and his wife Coretta Scott are buried. 

Stop 3 – National Center for Human and Civil Rights – Atlanta
According to their website, “The Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements.

Our purpose is to create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings so that they leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities.”  We will visit their permanent exhibit “Rolls Down Like Water:  The American Civil Rights Movement” which features one of the most stirring simulations of the sit-in movement I have ever experienced.