Rosa Parks on the bus


Permanent Exhibits

The museum offers 260 artifacts, more than 40 new films, oral histories, interactive media and external listening posts that guide visitors through five centuries of history — from the beginning of the resistance during slavery, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the rise of Jim Crow, and the seminal events of the late 20th century that inspired people around the world to stand up for equality.

A Culture of Resistance

Slavery in America 1619-1861


Standing Up by Sitting Down

Student Sit-Ins 1960


The Year They Walked

Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955–1956

“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

—Rosa Parks

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We are Prepared to Die

Freedom Rides 1961


What Do We Want?

Black Power


The Legacy Building

In this structure across from the Lorraine Motel, visitors learn about the resolute individuals and the milestone events that shaped the civil rights climate over the years in the United States, as well as how the movement continues worldwide today.

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Special exhibit

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement includes powerful testimonials from civil rights leaders and participants collected over a two-year period, plus historical video with narration by museum founder, the late D’Army Bailey.

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The museum's robust collection of historic objects, documents and images shares not only the American Civil Rights Movement but also the culture of slavery, African-American history and international human rights.

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