Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium logo Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium
About This Project

About the Consortium

The Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium, Inc. is a collaboration among 20 historic places of worship, lodging and civic engagement that played significant roles in the African American struggle for freedom. While recent history focuses on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, these institutions have been dedicated to improving the quality of Black life since Reconstruction.

The Consortium was launched in 2017 when the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) successfully nominated the sites to the World Monuments Fund (WMF) Watch. The Alabama Consortium was included on the 2018 WMF Watch among a diverse group of 25 global cultural heritage sites. Incubated for two years as a project of BCRI, the Consortium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping these sites build their capacity and sustainability. The Consortium operates with collaborative leadership rooted in a shared belief that there is strength in the unity of their common history, mission, and goals.

The Consortium sites have been preserved through the passion, commitment and herculean efforts of dedicated volunteers who are committed to saving, not only these historic properties, but their important stories. Taken together, these sites provide a historical, social and cultural context for the movement that changed our state, nation, and world. Moving forward, the Consortium will continue its work to assure that this legacy is preserved for today and future generations.

About the Project

Joyce O’Neal can still hear horses’ hooves on the steps of her church on Bloody Sunday. Nelson Malden recalls Martin Luther King Jr. stopping by his barbershop for a weekly haircut. Valda Harris Montgomery remembers more than 30 beaten Freedom Riders finding sanctuary in her childhood home. Voices of Alabama tells these and other stories from 20 sites of worship, lodging, and civic engagement in Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma/the Black Belt that played significant roles in the African-American struggle for freedom—not just during the Civil Rights Movement, but beginning in Reconstruction.

Thanks to generous support from Jack Shear and the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, with additional support from Friends of Heritage Preservation and an anonymous donor, Voices of Alabama allows users to explore each site from the Alabama African-American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium through video, image, timeline, and map content.

Special thanks to production partners Alabama Public Television (original videography), Cameron Clendaniel (film editing), Madeline Berry (research), Georgette Norman (interviewer), Sherrel Wheeler Stewart (interviewer), and Athena F. Richardson (interview coordinator).

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Explore the Sites

When & Where , A Timeline of Civil Rights Events in Alabama

View TImeline