Yellowhammer State

Alabama: Yellowhammer State

According to fun-wiki, Alabama is located in the South of America and partly borders the Gulf of Mexico.

The state of Alabama has had a very turbulent history. Alabama has a bad reputation when it comes to civil rights. For example, the state refused to abolish segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. Selma , Montgomery and Birmingham are well-known places where history has been made when it comes to civil rights. The landscape in Alabama is very beautiful, between the mountains in the northeast and the sandy beaches in the south are rolling hills covered with lots of vegetation. Take this state with you on your tour through the deep south.

Alabama history

The area that now forms the state of Alabama was originally populated by Native American tribes. The area was claimed by the French, the Spanish and the English. The first permanent European settlement in Alabama was Mobile, founded by the French in 1702. Alabama, with an economy based on cotton farming, had many slaves and was on the side of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Civil rights of Alabama

The tragedies and triumphs that took place in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s made the whole world aware of the realities of racial injustice and hatred that affected African Americans across the country. With a visit to Alabama you will experience the legacy of those who changed history through the American civil rights movement. Follow in the footsteps of civil rights legends such as Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visit Selma, scene of Bloody Sunday and the victory of the Selma-to-Montgomery March as you cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Visit Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, where you’ll learn about the first African-American military airmen.

Pay respect in Birmingham at the site of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. And most importantly, grow in empathy and understanding as you explore the museums and historic sites that commemorate those who changed history.

Racism, Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, at a time when black people were required by law to stand up for white passengers on public transportation. Rosa was done with that and remained seated. The police were called in and fined her $10. She refused to pay it and Rosa was therefore arrested.

The incident ended up with Martin Luther King, who called for a bus boycott. Black Americans got up extra early to walk to work instead of taking the bus. Free “taxi stands” were also created, manned by locals who took the boycotters to their destination. For example, they dealt a major blow to the transport company, which almost went bankrupt after more than a year. Among other things, this action eventually led to an end to racial segregation in public transport

She became an important symbol in the fight against racism, and continues to serve as a role model for the current generation of activists today.

The bus in the museum is a replica. The real bus in which it happened is in the Ford Museum in Detroit. The city where Rosa was forced to move to in the early 1960s because she lost her job after her protest and received death threats.

Major cities of Alabama

1. Alabama’s largest city, Birmingham

Birmingham , the Magic City, is Alabama’s largest city.
Birmingham was Ground Zero for the American Civil Rights Movement and now attracts visitors from all over the world to immerse themselves in the historic events. Be sure to visit the Civil Right Institute and 16th Street Baptist Church with adjacent Kelly Ingram Park. Worth visiting are the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and the Birmingham Museum of Art. If you are interested in motorcycles, the Barber Motorsports Museum is also recommended. Vulcan is also a must see. Vulcan is the world’s largest cast iron statue; (17 meters long) and stands on top of Red Mountain. But Vulcan is more than just a statue: Vulcan Park and Museum offers spectacular views of Birmingham, is an interactive museum that tells the story of Vulcan and Birmingham, and is a beautiful public park.

2. Montgomery, capital of Alabama

Montgomery , the capital of Alabama, offers a beautiful civil rights monument, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (by the same designer as the Vietnam Memorial), the church of Martin Luther King, but on the same square also the State Capitol, from which racism has been preached for years.

While in Montgomery, also visit the Rosa Parks Museum, the Civil Rights Memorial, and Old Alabama town.

In Montgomery, artist and tour guide Michelle Browder has erected a monument to Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey, three enslaved women who underwent surgery without anesthesia by James Marion Sims, often referred to as the “father of gynaecology.” Erected in September 2021, Browder’s statue features the women Browder calls the “Mothers of Gynecology.”

3. Selma, Edmund Pettus farm

For those interested in the Civil Rights Movement, a visit to Selma is a must on any tour of the Deep South.

Selma is best known for the marches, accompanied by Martin Luther King, among others. The Selma to Montgomery Marches were three protest marches held in 1965 along the 54-mile Selma to Montgomery highway. The marches were organized by nonviolent activists to demonstrate the desire of African American citizens to vote. This was during the segregation and the group could therefore arrange for a lot of resistance.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, now a National Historic Landmark, was the site of the protesters’ brutal Bloody Sunday beatings during the first march for voting rights. The attacks were televised across the country, sparking public support for civil rights activists in Selma and for the voting rights campaign. After Bloody Sunday, protesters were given the right to continue marching, and two more marches for voting rights followed.

4. Tuscaloosa

Located in the heart of Central Alabama, Tuscaloosa is a vibrant community full of storied history. Home to the famous University of Alabama and located along the Black Warrior River, you’ll find a walkable downtown area complete with live music, outdoor spaces to explore, and local restaurants to suit all tastes. Not too big. Not too small.

5. Huntsville

Huntsville , Alabama, also known as Rocket City, is the site of the US Space and Rocket Center, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command. Anyone can follow an astronaut training course here!

6. Tuskegee

Moton Field in Tuskegee was home to an “experiment” to find out if African Americans could be trained as fighter pilots. In addition to pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen consisted of bombers, navigators, dispatchers, and technicians. Women were also part of this group and worked alongside the men as secretaries, mechanics, control tower operators and paratroopers. Forming the 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group of the US Army Air Corps, the Tuskegee Airmen fought in World War II as the first African-American military aviators in the nation’s history. Visit the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site.

Tuskegee is also interesting because of the Tuskegee Institute, this Institute was set up by Booker T. Washington to teach blacks the skills to improve themselves. It became an institute where brilliant inventions were made to do other things with products from the south.

7. Mobile

Mobile is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in a bay (Mobile Bay). It is on the route between New Orleans and Tallahassee. Long before New Orleans, a Mardi Gras was organized here as early as 1703. Here, visit the Battleship Memorial Park, the Mobile Carnival Museum, and the National African American Museum. Very worthwhile to visit are the beaches of Dauphin Island and the Gulf Islands.

8. Muscle Shoals

Since the 1960s, the town of Muscle Shoals has been known for its music. Local studios and artists developed the “Muscle Shoals Sound”, including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969. They produced hit records that shaped the national and international history of popular music.

Yellowhammer State

About the author