Destinations and Day Trips
Eight South Carolina cities dot the official Civil Rights Trail, but the Green Book, a mobile travel guide to African-American cultural sites across the state, lists more than 300 entries. Originally a national guide to safe places for African Americans traveling between 1936 and 1966, the Green Book was revived in May 2017 as a mobile site (greenbookofsc.com) by the South Carolina African-American Heritage Commission. It identifies nationally or state-recognized historic places and is searchable via categories such as historic churches, cultural attractions and H.B.C.U.s, or historically black colleges and universities.
In New Orleans, a new section of Press Street is being renamed after Homer Plessy, the early Civil Rights activist whose case for riding in a whites-only train car led to the Supreme Court’s “separate but equal” ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The New Orleans Civil Rights Movement Tour from Tours by Judy follows the story from slave auction sites in the French Quarter to the cemetery where Mr. Plessy is buried and weaves in stories of Canal Street sit-ins demanding equal treatment at lunch counters and in shops.
Roughly midway between Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., Tupelo, Miss., isn’t on the new Civil Rights Trail, but has its own heritage trail that identifies Civil War and Civil Rights sights as well as those related to the indigenous Chickasaw Nation. Though Tupelo is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, its historical markers identify the site of the Woolworth lunch counter where protests occurred, the Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church, which served as a gathering place for Civil Rights activists, and the 1964 March of Discontent over voter registration and minority hiring.