Rachel on the Road: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is an emotional and educational experience within the Civil Rights District of Birmingham.

“I grew up thinking why,” Rosemary told us after visiting the institute for the first time. “I’ve wanted to come here pretty much since I was 18-years-old and that was a long time ago and I finally got here. It makes me ashamed.”

It’s devastating and inspiring to learn about what actually happened in order for us to see the human rights we have today.

“The sacrifices of the people there in both places really pushed America to do the right thing,” Ahmad Ward, Vice President of Education and Exhibitions, said. “All hell could’ve broken loose here, but it didn’t because of the people involved, folks that will never get their names in the newspapers or history books. People that will never get the credit they deserve fought, bleed, some died to get to the point that we can do anything we want to do and that is a cornerstone of American History.”

We spoke with a foot soldier who marched and was arrested in the early 60’s at the young of 16. Janice Kelsey said this institute is the biggest thank you for what she and so many others fought for.

Ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we took you through the BCRI, but you can go see and understand it for yourself free of charge on Monday January 16, 2017. Click here for location and hours.

Don’t miss next week! Rachel found your not so typical lunch spot. That’s next Friday morning right here on CBS42, Rachel on the Road!

To submit an idea of where Rachel should road trip to next, e-mail her at Rachel.Lundberg@wiat.com.

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