Tuscaloosa sheds light on history in a 18-stop civil rights history trail

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala (WIAT) — A trail that takes you back in time in Tuscaloosa opens on Monday. 

The Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Trail is a self walking trail that takes you to 18 spots that marks history in the civil rights era. 

The trail was organized and research by the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Task Force, foot soldiers, scholars, and citizens. 

The first stop is Capitol Park on 6th Street in Tuscaloosa.

Capitol Park is where the state government building was from 1826 to 1846 and enacted slave codes. 

The trail takes you to where lynching occurred outside the old jail, the church where marches were organized, local barber shop, and many more. 

Dr. Scott Bridges is the president of the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Task Force and said this is a great history lesson for those who aren’t aware of the city’s civil rights history. 

“We can learn from history, and we can learn from that history that the past, once confronted, and we admit to that past that we can accept a present that is inclusive. A present that brings all of us to the table to talk about our community, to understand that that past did happen but that together as we literally hold hands, we will find we have love for each other and through that love we can generate a better future,” said Dr. Bridges. 

Betty Wells, a foot solider who marched in Tuscaloosa during the civil rights era, said this trail is going to put a light on this kind of history that needs to be exposed

“We’re working on this component of racial reconciliation and this is something I never would have thought in my lifetime we would be sitting around the table working through a research based project like this that has shown to be powerful and positive and do it here in Tuscaloosa,” said Wells. 

The trail officially opens on Monday at 5:30pm during a ceremony at Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. 

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