Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the Civil Rights Memorial serves as a tribute to those people who died in their struggle for an equal and fair treatment of those with European and African descent in the United States. A total of forty names are included in the memorial covering a period from 1954 to 1968 when the struggle was at its peak.
Sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the artist Maya Lin was tasked to create the memorial, which she did so in similar fashion to her earlier work, “Women’s Table”. She drew on the following lines from Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream” as inspiration on how the monument will look.
“We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”
As such she came up with a design that naturally brings out the effects that running water has to soothe and to heal – an inverted cone that serves as a fountain. Engraved on the base of the cone are the 40 names paid tribute to and this is where the water flows freely on its way down to the tip of the cone. This is a peaceful and healing picture that remembers the struggles of the American Civil Rights Movement against racism – a good destination for students and travelers alike, who want to learn a little more about the Civil Rights Movement.
Group tours, which last for an hour, are available all throughout the week except Sundays. There is an admission fee for adults, but children enter for free. The memorial is easily accessible and is just within walking distance from other historic sites in Montgomery. A guard is stationed nearby to prevent vandalism, but otherwise people are free to go near the monument and even run their hands over the running water.