Many people and places in Alabama played crucial roles in the civil rights movement. It even bears the nickname “Heart of Dixie” as a reminder of its history. To learn more about that rich history, spend some time visiting the amazing landmarks and tributes to the Civil Rights Movement in the state.

1. Birmingham Civil Rights District

Covering a six-block area, the Birmingham Civil Rights District is packed with places that made a difference in American history. It is anchored by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and is home to other meaningful sites including the Carver Theater, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park and the Fourth Avenue Business District. If you are unsure where to go first, consider booking a tour or group outing with a Birmingham charter bus service.

2. National Memorial for Peace and Justice

From its perch overlooking downtown Montgomery, the Equal Justice Initiative’s memorial is a moving tribute to lives lost in the struggle for freedom and equality. You can walk through the six-acre site quickly, but it pays to slow down and read the inscriptions memorializing the more than 4,400 African Americans brutalized by terror lynchings in the years leading up to the Civil Rights Movement. Their names are hauntingly carved into hundreds of granite slabs arranged throughout the space.

3. Rosa Parks Library and Museum

While you are in Montgomery, take time to visit Troy University’s Rosa Parks Library and Museum. It pays tribute to the woman whose refusal to give up her seat helped spark the Mongomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights Movement. Exhibits include a lifesize statue of Parks as well as a replica of the bus where the events unfolded.

Walking in the footsteps of those who struggled for their rights and equality is a vibrant reminder of turbulent times. As difficult as it is to confront our nation’s troubled past, it is a necessary step toward healing and reconciliation.