5 Essential Civil Rights Museums In The Southeast Region

Center For Civil And Human Rights - Civil Rights Museums

For American history buffs, a trip to the southeast is a chance to gain better insight into the history of the civil rights movement and the struggle for racial equality. There are so many great civil rights museums in the United States that an entire trip can be planned around visiting the top national civil rights museums.

When travel time is limited, consider visiting the highlights by including these essential civil rights museums in your itinerary. If time is not an issue, then slow down and spend more time exploring the south’s amazing history, music, art, and food.

The New Legacy Museum In Montgomery, AL

The New Legacy Museum is a 15-minute walk from its counterpart, the National Memorial to Peace and Justice. This civil rights museum is 11,000 square feet built on the site of a warehouse formerly used to house enslaved black people.

It’s a sobering account of past oppression in African American history as well as the current ongoing struggle. The museum includes interactive technology, historical archives, and narrated first-person accounts from a tragic time in American history.

There is a powerful display here, with 800 jars of soil collected from lynching sites across the US.

Take the short walk, or the quick shuttle bus, to the nearby National Memorial to Peace and Justice. The memorial honors the legacy of black people who were the tragic victims of lynching. The memorial square includes 805 steel plates with the victim’s name (if known) and the name of the county and state where the lynching took place.

Plan to spend three to five hours at the museum and one hour at the memorial.

Rosa Parks Museum – The Mother Of The Civil Rights Movement, Montgomery, Al

The Rosa Parks Museum is located on the site where she was arrested on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man.

Displays include archival exhibits from the Montgomery Bus Boycott. A bus is on exhibit that is identical to the one Mrs. Parks was riding that day when she refused to give up her seat to a white man. There is also a reenactment to show what happened on that day from the eyes of an onlooker.

Plan to spend from 90 minutes to two hours touring the museum.

National Center For Civil And Human Rights Museum In Atlanta, Ga

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum occupies 2.5 acres in downtown Atlanta. It is arguably one of the best planned civil rights museums in America.

The museum focuses on both the civil rights movement throughout African American history and the worldwide human rights struggle. This museum is a must-see for any tour of civil rights museums.

There are three distinct, permanent exhibits here:

  • Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. This section tells the story of Dr. King’s life through a collection of his letters and papers.
  • Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement. This section is an interactive gallery that shows the civil rights movement in multiple sections. The most popular exhibit here is the recreation of a lunch counter sit-in. Visitors sit at the counter, put on headphones, and listen to a simulation of the insults and threats that came from the hecklers.
  • Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement. The focus here is on modern-day activists working to improve conditions for women and LGBTQ people worldwide.

Plan to spend from 90 minutes to two hours touring the museum.

National Civil Rights Museum In Memphis, Tn

The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel occupies several associated buildings at the site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

As one of the nation’s most influential civil rights museums, a few of the exhibits include:

  • Dr. King’s room at the Lorraine Motel, number 306.
  • A replica of the bus Rosa Parks was riding when she refused to give up her seat to a white man.
  • A floor map of Africa, Europe, and North and South America with statistical data showing the huge number of people captured as slaves and the impact on those areas.
  • The original lunch counter from the student lead sit-ins of 1960.

This museum should be added to any itinerary of essential civil rights museums to visit.

Plan to spend 90 minutes touring the museum.

Stax Soulsville Music Museum In Memphis, TN

In 1957 a small recording studio was started by Jim Stewart, a man with no recording experience, under the name Satellite Records. The first record cut by Satellite Records was a country song called “Blue Roses.” The rest, as they say, was history.

Through a series of studio moves, and a deal with his older sister Estelle Axton, Satellite Records became Stax. Stax is a combination of their two last names: Stewart and Axton.

The museum honors the Stax legacy and the history of American Soul Music. On display are interactive exhibits, films, stage costumes, records, vintage recording equipment, photographs, and musical instruments. Over 2,000 pieces of rare black music memorabilia are on display.

The Stax Museum is about 2.5 miles from the National Civil Rights Museum. A discounted ticket can be purchased on the Stax website with admission to both museums.

Plan to spend at least 90 minutes to two hours touring the museum.

Why Not Leave The Planning, And The Driving, To Us!

Take a pilgrimage through the American southeast to tour the civil rights museums, and be immersed in civil rights history. We will take care of the details while you ride in comfort on our one of luxury motorcoaches.

Visiting a national civil rights museum is an intimate look into American history. Plan to spend your precious travel time with your loved ones on one of our tours. Our 8-day Civil rights History Tour is private and can be customized for you.

For more information, go online or call today. We look forward to meeting with you!

Leon Burnette

Leon Burnette, known affectionately as Mr. B The Guru, is a Civil Rights and Black Music Historian, Explorer, and Storyteller. Burnett, also known as “Mr. B,” is the voice of diversity Stories and has a strong obsession for Black music,...

Leon Burnette Full Bio
10 days
Group Size
14 to 42

10 DAY MUSIC HISTORY TOUR -Fantastic Voyage Land of Funk

Experience the Land of Funk on our Black Music History Tour — one of the most exciting and authentic multi-day tours in all of North America. Our expert guides will take you on a musical journey through the heart of America, following in the footsteps of black music pioneers to explore how their influence is present throughout all aspects of American culture.

You’ll get an insider’s look into the musical heritage and highlights of Black Music, visiting legendary music studios, iconic venues and even hearing from some music legends themselves! Travel with us to legendary sites across 8 cities including Detroit, Cleveland, Dayton Cinninatti Nashville, and Memphis, to learn stories through music. From Motown to The Rock roll Hall of Fame to Dayton and Cincinnati, The Funk Capitol, and on to Nashville and Soulsville in Memphis TN.

We invite you on a breathtaking journey through the heart of American music, exploring the true Rythem of America, American Soul and Funk Music

6 days 4 hours
Group Size
14 to 42


The New Green Book For Travel Special Edition Tour Experience. The Lowcountry is where mighty rivers fall into the sea to make their last dive.

Come with us on this Lowcountry Black History Food and Music experience along the National Historic Gullah Geechie Trail.

On this six-day, immersive cultural experience, you will travel from Charleston, Beauport, St Helena, Hilton Head, South Carolina, and on to Savanah, GA, to learn more about the kidnapped Africans who passed through the ports of Charleston and were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Inland Cotton plantations of South Carolina and Georgia.

The Ancestors of the Gullah Geechie people brought to this country through the slave trade a rich heritage and African American traditions in Art, Food and Music.

The Gullah Geechie people we will meet along the Trail are known for preserving more of their Art, Foodways, linguistic, cultural, and music heritage than any other African-American community in the United States.

The Gullah Geechie music evolved out of the conditions of slavery that characterized their lives. The influence and evolution of musical forms that arose from Gullah music can be heard in many musical genres, such as spirituals and gospel music, ragtime, rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop, and jazz.

Nowhere in America did the cooking of master and slave combine as gracefully as it did in the Lowcountry kitchen. As we travel through the low country, we will get a chance to learn from master Gullah Chefs and Natives like Bill Green to sample food like Red snapper, Red Rice, Okra Stone Ground Grits, Carolina Gold Rice, Whole Pork BBQ, Collard Greens, BBQ Oysters, Boiled Peanuts, Pimento Cheese, and Peach Cider, and Swamp Water Tea.

On this specially curated tour, we want you to hear the music, see the art, Taste the food and learn the whole story, And We Mean the Whole Story.

Charleston SC, Beaufort SC, St Helena, Hilton Head SC, Savannah GA
Start Charleston SC
Beaufort SC
St Helena SC
Hilton Head Sc
Savannah GA

2499 USD