Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham

#3 of 76 in Things to do in Birmingham
History Museum · Museum
Tracing the journey of one of American's most volatile times as a nation, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute researches and showcases the lessons learned during the Civil Rights Movement. Via interactive exhibits and archives, you can follow numerous events and racial struggles that have taken place in Birmingham from the 1950s until today. Take a self-guided tour through 5,400 sq m (58,000 sq ft) of galleries that present dramatic images of inequity and segregation. You'll hear true stories about the fight for equality and see life-sized displays and multimedia presentations. You'll also discover the positive events that changed the world. This museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. PutBirmingham Civil Rights Institute into our Birmingham trip itinerary builder and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,263 reviews
  • This is the perfect place to visit if you want to learn more about Birmingham Civil Rights Movements and the individuals involved with the movements.  more »
  • Every family should take their children to this museum! Starting from a brief look at segregation in the south and a look into how black people lived in segregated Birmingham, the Museum picks up...  more »
  • First point to make: Be aware that the vast majority of the negative reviews come from people with a political axe to grind (controversy over Angela Davis having recognition rescinded, which has now been resolved). It's the kind of activity that really has nothing to do with the venue itself. The Institute itself is well-organized, informative, moving and (for better or worse) quite extensive. There are sections on the Freedom Riders, the history of integration in public accommodations, etc., many with original video footage and countless interesting photographs. One small quibble is that some of the exhibits are accompanied by plaques and other descriptive panels that are a bit hard to read, either due to lighting or very small text. Our experience was overall very positive, and I would recommend this as a great place to see a comprehensive overview of the civil rights movement in the U.S..
  • Was thoroughly impressed by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. It is the right size for a museum trip, well laid-out, with a mixture of writing, audio/visual, and artifacts. I'd say 90 minutes to two hours is what you need. You will be inspired by some elements and cry because of others. People of any age will learn from the Institute, and it would be a great trip for students, families, or vacation travelers. The museum does an excellent job of telling the story of civil rights in America, in Alabama, and specifically in Birmingham. I found it powerful and also found that I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city.

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