Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is an interpretive museum, archive, and research center located in the Civil Rights District Birmingham, Alabama.


The center is a modern institute that depicts the desegregation efforts and the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The museum was opened to the public in November 1992 and it serves as a connection to the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument; a collection of sites important to the Civil Rights Movement. It is known that the institute is home to an expansive archive of documents from the Civil Rights Movement and nearly 500 recorded oral histories relevant to the period. The museum also hosts annual events to commemorate significant dates such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month.




The exhibitions at the center take visitors on a self-guided tour of Birmingham’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and the global pursuit of human rights. These exhibits are available to visit at all times of the year, they include;


-Movement Gallery: Reminisce the history of America’s Civil Rights Movement from 1955 to 1963 through four distinct theatrical depictions of pivotal moments.

– Orientation Theatre: Relive post-Civil War Alabama through the early 1920s and meet the Black men and women who helped build the steel and rail industries that helped Birmingham, Alabama become a global destination.

– Confrontation Gallery: Listen to what was said behind closed doors during the Civil Rights era in the echoed voices of white and Black people living through these turbulent times.

– Barriers Gallery: In one of many displays, separate water fountains and segregated schools remind us that Birmingham was divided into two worlds in the early twentieth century.

– Human Rights Gallery: Understand the struggle for equality as an ongoing contemporary challenge reflected in human rights movements beyond Birmingham’s city limits, across the United States, and around the world.

– Milestones Gallery: Photographs document the protests at Kelly Ingram Park in the 1960s, the tragic bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, and the historic Selma to Montgomery March.


The institute also showcases a number of traveling and special exhibits. Examples are exhibitions on the Freedom Rides and the Oral History Project, which is a multimedia exhibition that can be found online.


The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is located at 520 16th Street North, Birmingham, AL, United States. Opening hours are from 10 am to 3 pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

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