Learning History at Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute
From voaspecialenglish.com | facebook.com/voalearningenglish Birmingham, Alabama, was a battleground in the early 1960s during the civil rights movement. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and others led peaceful protests in support of equal rights for African-Americans. But some protests turned violent when police attacked the demonstrators. Many people were hurt. Thousands were arrested. The pictures helped create support for an end to racial discrimination. Almost 50 years later, people visit Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute to learn about the battle for civil rights in the American South. William Revill drove several hours. WILLIAM REVILL: "Black people need to know their heritage, they need to know where they came from, they need to know the price that our people paid for us to be where we are today. It came with a price. Unfortunately, what that price meant that a lot of our people died." Lawrence Pijeaux is president of the museum. LAWRENCE PIJEAUX: "It's important that we have this institution here so that people not only in this country but people come from around the world to learn about what happened in Birmingham and how the movement here in Birmingham has had a positive impact on race relations around the world." Ann Marie Wilson is from London. ANN MARIE WILSON: "We have heard that Alabama has been very significant in the integration process but also had a lot of pain along its journey. And I wanted to see what I could learn from that to see how peaceful demonstrations can enable a diverse population to live side by side in harmony." Vernon Roberts traveled from New Jersey. VERNON ROBERTS: "It kind of got emotional for me, and it gave me the opportunity to want to bring more of my family, especially to have my children here so that they can see the struggle that took place." Thousands of people visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute every year. I'm June Simms.