The memorial designed by Maya Lin was closed for refurbishing when we visited in October, 2018. Even without this part of the experience, our visit to the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s Civil Rights Memorial was deeply moving. As you move through the first part you are invited to learn about 40 people who gave their lives for civil rights. Their stories were deeply moving.
There is a small theater where a film about the civil rights movement plays at regular intervals. Then you move through a hallway with a timeline that records more recent hate crimes and people who have given their lives for our freedom.
Another area features quotes from leaders that prompt contemplation and reflection. This would naturally lead to the memorial itself. I look forward to visiting at a time in the future when this water feature is restored.
Just a short walk away is the Freedom Riders Museum. It is one of the places we did not have time to visit. We regretted this when we were in Birmingham and learned more about the brave Freedom Riders riding Greyhound buses to desegregate bus service in the South.