This lesson is based on the National Historic Landmark nominations for “Brown Chapel AME Church” (with photographs) and the “First Confederate Capitol” (with photographs) and on the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the “Old Town Historic District” in Selma. All of these places are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The lesson also relies on the Racial Voting Rights in America National Historic Landmark Theme Study and on planning documents and other materials collected by the National Park Service’s Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March: Shaking the Conscience of the Nation was written by Marilyn Harper, consultant and former National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places historian, and edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
This lesson was sponsored by the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail’s “Never Lose Sight of Freedom” program. “Never Lose Sight of Freedom” includes lesson plans, reference materials, historical documents and photos, oral history video clips, many other useful resources for teachers, as well as information on an educational dvd. These materials can be found on the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail website.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Materials for students
Visiting the site
Created by Congress under the National Trails System Act of 1968, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail begins at the Brown Chapel AME Church and ends at the Alabama State Capitol. The Edmund Pettus Bridge along the trail is still in use as part of the public highway system. The Lowndes County Interpretive Center, the first of three interpretive centers planned for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, is located in Hayneville, Alabama, approximately halfway between Selma and Montgomery. A collaboration between the National Park Service, the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, and Lowndes County, the Interpretive Center features exhibits dealing with segregation, the campaign for voting rights, and the Selma to Montgomery March. It is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST. For more information write to the Lowndes County Interpretive Center, 7001 US Highway 80, Hayneville, AL 36040-4612. Check the Selma to Montgomery March website for more details, including driving directions.
The National Voting Rights Museum, at 1012 Water Avenue in Selma, is open weekdays and weekends by appointment. It contains memorabilia of the civil rights movement and the recollections of participants in the voting rights campaign. Please contact the museum for hours of operation or to arrange for a tour.
The Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel has created an Alabama Civil Rights Museum Trail. A free full color brochure outlining places associated with civil rights activities in Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, and Tuskegee can be downloaded from their website.