The Consortium supports 20 African-American Civil Rights sites around the state of Alabama. Some of these are well-known stops on any Civil Rights pilgrimage while others are mostly forgotten. Like many historic places, all of the sites are challenged to work within limited funding and ongoing building upkeep even as Civil Rights tourism grows.
A funder suggested that the Consortium do an exhibit. But what does that mean in this context, with sites scattered hours apart? The Consortium selected 106 Group, with our partner Seitu Jones, in a competitive search to study the issue and propose a solution in the form of an Exhibit Concept.
After spending time at all 20 sites and sitting down with partners and supporters, we conceived a pair of exhibits: for tourists, an exhibit at a centralized Montgomery location; for Alabamians a touring exhibit for public spaces throughout the state. Both exhibits reinforce the sites’ engagement in the struggle for civil rights from long before the 1950s, with emphasis on the sites that have been erased from public awareness in the intervening years, and promote the value of African American voices and places.