Jackson to Montgomery 2018

On the Road to Freedom
Understanding the Civil Rights Movement

A Customized Program for SNBAA
June 24 – July 1, 2018

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“Let it not be said of us when history records these momentous times that we slept while our rights were being taken….”

Medgar W. Evers

Our country’s history has been shaped by many movements but perhaps one of the most significant is that of the Civil Rights. Our carefully designed program traces the history of this struggle which began in 1955 when Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, was arrested for refusing to give up her seat at the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. But it was not a movement that just took off. It was one that grew over time through massive grassroots organization, a commitment to achieve racial equality through non-violence, legislative victories, brilliant leadership and collaboration, and the sheer courage and determination of hundreds of thousands of participants.

We stop at the major sites of the movement – from Selma to the Little Rock High School – and meet with many of the figures who were involved.  Framed within the civil rights story are the histories of the music and cuisine of the South. From blues to jazz to fried chicken and biscuits, some of the most powerful and inspired creations of both southern sound and southern cuisine  were born out of  hardship and poverty and today continue to evolve in exciting ways as new populations, ingredients, and instruments influence regional culture.

For those interested in social justice today there are great lessons to be learned from earlier struggles in our history where a profound demonstration of commitment, against all odds, succeeded. In the words of words of King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 (June 24): Jackson, Mississippi (B,L,D)

Independent arrivals into Jackson. Transfer to the Old Capitol Inn.

This afternoon enjoy an optional visit to the home of author Eudora Welty whose art was grounded in the grand oral tradition of the South. Walk through her modest home to discover where she clacked away on her typewriter, amongst books stacked upon couches and shelves, piled on every flat surface.

This evening enjoy a lovely welcome reception and dinner at the hotel.

Day 2 (June 25): Jackson, Mississippi (B,L,D)

Our program begins at the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, where we will engage in an interactive experience allowing you to reach out and “touch history”. The COFO’s mission is to honor the past and deal with issues of the present, and offer hope for the future.

houseContinue on to Medgers Evers Home Museum, where Evers lived and was later assassinated in 1963. Walk through the home, which has been persevered to the way it looked in 1963. Here we will have the opportunity to meet with the home’s curator, Minnie White Watson.

En route to lunch pass by the Freedom Corner, a memorial to the martyred Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgers Evers.

Enjoy lunch at the Big Apple Inn, whose unique delicacy, Pig’s Ear Sandwich, has attracted quite a few celebrities, including BB King and even President Obama.

After lunch visit the former Greyhound Bus station, a site that played a prominent role in the 1961 Freedom Rides against segregation and has been lovingly renovated to preserve the original art deco architecture.

Walk across the street to the Capitol building completed in 1903. This is where the Mississippi legislature passed Jim Crow laws and where James Meredith’s “March Against Fear” ended with a rally featuring many notable speakers including Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stop by the Smith Robertson Museum, the site of Jackson’s first school for African-American children, including future literary giant Richard Wright. It was here that Wright wrote his first short story, “The Voodoo of Hill’s Half-Acre.”

Enjoy a lovely welcome dinner this evening at Parlor Market, one of Jackson’s most highly rated restaurants.

Day 3 (June 26): Little Rock, Arkansas (B,L)

Depart Jackson this morning for Little Rock driving through the beautiful flatlands of the Mississippi Delta.

Stop by the BB King Museum, to experience and learn about blues music, founded here in the Mississippi Delta. Explore the museum and soak in the sounds that transformed the history of music in America.

Afterwards, continue on to Baptist Town, best known as the final residence of Robert Johnson – the King of the Delta Blues Singers.

Stop in at Hoover’s Store, owned by Sylvester and Mary Hoover. Tour the Back in the Day Museum, a community museum exploring the history of the blues, Baptist Town and African-American culture in the Delta.

Enjoy lunch at Spooney’s, known for the best barbecue around.

Continue on to the nearby town of Money where the first marker on the Mississippi Freedom Trail was placed at the remains of the Bryant’s Grocery, the site associated with the murder of black teenager Emmett Till. Today the site has almost crumbled to the ground from neglect, but still remains a historical location of the Civil Rights Movement.

Continue north stopping in at Dockery’s Farms, one of the most important plantations in the Delta, which is said to be one of the primal centers of the origin of blues. Spend some time here listening to recordings of Charley Patton, one of the most important early Delta Blues musicians, who spent most of his life at Dockery’s Farm.

Make a stop in Sumner at the Emmett Till Interpretive Center which exists to tell the story of the Emmett Till tragedy and point a way towards racial healing through arts and story-telling.

From here drive a short distance to Abe’s Barbecue for a rest stop and snack.

Continue on to Little Rock pausing at the Big Dam Bridge which is the longest purpose-built pedestrian/bicycle bridge in the country before arriving at the Burgundy Hotel.

Day 4 (June 27): Memphis, Tennessee (B,L,D)

IntegrationThis morning visit Little Rock High School, now Central High School National Historic Site, a national emblem of the often violent struggle over school desegregation. The crisis here forced the nation to enforce African-American civil rights in the face of massive southern defiance during the years following the Brown decision, a major triumph of the movement.

Continue on to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center housed in a gleaming modern space overlooking the Arkansas River. The center supports the Clinton library, foundation, and school, as well as a mock Oval Office as it looked during his administration.

Enjoy a lovely lunch at beautiful restaurant located at the presidential center.

After lunch walk to the Anne Frank exhibit right outside the center before continuing on to the headquarters of the Heifer International. Their mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Check into the Peabody Memphis.

Enjoy dinner this evening at the Four Way, which has been serving up meals since 1946 and has fed the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis, Aretha Franklin and Ike and Tina Turner.

Day 5 (June 28): Memphis, Tennessee (B,L)

hotelBegin the morning at the Lorraine Motel, now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. Martin Luther King, Jr. stayed at the motel on April 4, 1968 in Room 306. When he stepped out to talk to friends in the parking lot below, a bullet struck him in the neck, taking his life instantly. We will spend some time at this historical location, retracing some of the final footsteps of the most iconic leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

The visit to the museum concludes with a video of images of the anti-apartheid movement, the election of President Obama, and other major events of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As visitors exit the museum, they glimpse their shadows cast against a wall of silhouetted marchers, a symbolic way of encouraging visitors to join the ongoing movement for racial justice and equality.

Walk across the street to the Legacy Building, the boarding house from where the assassin’s shot was allegedly fired, which examines the investigation of the assassination, the case against James Earl Ray, and ensuing conspiracy theories.

Enjoy lunch at the world famous Gus’s Fried Chicken.

This afternoon we will focus on Memphis’ music history with a special tour led by a professional Beale Street musician. Enjoy live music as you learn about Memphis’ strong affiliations to rock ‘n’ roll, soul and blues music.

Stop at the Stax Museum of American Soul which provides an insight inside the civil rights story set within the Memphis music scene. A fascinating exhibit traces the history of the Blues and its impact on American music!

A mile north is the Slave Haven Underground Railway house where dark cellars, hidden passageways and trap doors were used by runaway slaves attempting to flee north to freedom. Built by slave sympathizer and German immigrant Jacob Burkle, this modest home tells the story of the Memphis slave trade and the Underground Railroad.

Drive a mile north to visit the Slave Haven Underground Railway house, where dark cellars, hidden passageways and trap doors were used by runaway slaves attempting to flee north to freedom.  Here we will have the opportunity to learn about the Memphis slave trade and the Underground Railroad.

Dinner at your leisure this evening.

Day 6 (June 29): Montgomery, Alabama (B,L,D)

This morning, before traveling to Birmingham, stop at Americana at Jerry’s Sno Cones for a chance to sample what are reputed to be the best Sno Cones in the world.

Continue on to Birmingham and stop at the 16th Street Baptist Church where a bomb killed four young girls as they prepared to sing in their choir on September 15, 1963. The incident caused national outrage and gave rise to a momentum that ensured the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. We have asked Carolyn McKinstry, who was 14 and inside the church when the bomb exploded, to join us on our visit.

In the basement of the church, enjoy a special lunch of southern fried chicken while we meet with attorney, Doug Jones, who brought the last of the 16th Street Baptist church bombers to justice just a few years ago.

Drive to Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge where we will walk two by two in memory of those who were beaten seeking the right to vote. We are hoping that we can meet with Reverend FD Reese, who marched hand-in-hand with King in three marches. His front-row presence made him a symbol of and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.

Visit the Selma Interpretive Center located at the foot of the bridge where armed forces attacked the first wave of unarmed marchers during Bloody Sunday.

Continue along the 54 miles, known as the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. This route helped change American history as a series of marches brought the conflicts of the voting rights movement into homes across the country.

Stop at the Lowndes Interpretive Center which screens a film about the marches and the memorial dedicated to Viola Liuzzo.

Arrive in Montgomery and check into the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel.

Enjoy dinner this evening at Leks Thai Restaurant.

Day 7 (June 30): Montgomery, Alabama (B,L,D)

Begin the morning with a short walk to the Rosa Parks Museum, where the civil rights movement truly found its footing in 1955.

The museum is set in front of the bus stop where Parks took her defiant stand in the pivotal moment which is recreated at the museum.

Walk a short distance to the Freedom Rides Museum, located in the former Greyhound Bus Station. On May 20, 1961, a group of Freedom Riders were attacked by a local mob at the Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station.

End the morning at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and Parsonage where Martin Luther King Jr. pastured from 1954-1960. Stand in the pulpit from which he preached as a minister about his passionate views on the power of nonviolence and civil disobedience. Admire the large mural that depicts the struggles of the movement and landmark moments in King’s life.

Enjoy lunch at Chris’ Hot Dogs which was founded on historic Dexter Street in 1917.

After lunch visit the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit Civil Rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry. We will request a meeting with Mark Potok, one of the country’s leading experts on the world of extremism.

We end our program at the Civil Rights Memorial where, Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin, designed a circular black granite table which records the names of the martyrs and chronicles the history of the movement in lines that radiate like the hands of a clock. Water emerges from the table’s center and flows evenly across the top. Engraved on a curved black granite wall behind the table is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s well-known paraphrase of Amos 5:24 “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Enjoy a farewell dinner at the Central Restaurant.

Day 8 (July 1): Depart

Independent travel to the airport for flights home.

Faculty Leader

Hobbs, AllysonAllyson Hobbs, Associate Professor of American History and Director of African and African American Studies


Pricing & Capacity


  • Approximately $8,995 per person, double occupancy
  • Approximately $10,295 per person, single occupancy

Although details are not yet finalized for this trip, you can guarantee your space with a fully refundable Early Deposit of $1,000 per person.

To make an Early Deposit, you would place a $1,000 per person deposit now to save your place for this program. Once the Civil Rights Tour brochure is available, which will include final pricing, you will have 10 business days to cancel and receive a full refund of your early deposit.

To place an Early Deposit visit the Civil Rights Tour overview page (click on “reserve Space in the upper right hand corner of the page) or call Stanford Travel/Study at 650-725-0179.

For more current information on pricing and cancellation terms, visit the Civil Rights Tour overview page.



At this time, registration is open solely to SNBAA members, Black Grad alums, and their non-member guests, until June 1, 2017. Space is limited to 35 travelers.  If spaces are still available after June 1, 2017, registration will open to the greater Stanford alumni population.

To reserve space with an early deposit visit the Civil Rights Tour overview page and click on “reserve Space in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Learn more about Stanford Travel/Study.


Frequently Asked Questions

For responses to some frequently asked questions, please visit the Stanford Travel/Study FAQs page.

If you have a question that is not listed here, please contact Stanford Travel/Study at travelstudy@alumni.stanford.edu or (650) 725-1093.