Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – Birmingham, Alabama

Image Copyright BCRI

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is a modern museum that serves as a connection to the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, a collection of sites important to the Civil Rights Movement. Visitors can experience a rendition of a segregated city in the 1950s, as well as examine a replica of a Freedom Riders bus and even the actual jail cell door from behind which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” The institute is also home to an expansive archive of documents from the Civil Rights Movement and nearly 500 recorded oral histories relevant to the period. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the BRCI also has traveling exhibitions on the Freedom Rides, Selma-to-Montgomery marches, 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Elder Grace, and lesbian families living in the Deep South. The museum also hosts annual celebrations on landmark dates, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month.

Tour and Gift Shop Hours

Sunday : 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
Closed Mondays

Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am-5 pm

Martin Luther King Day: Free admission
Note: Ticket booth closes at 4:30 pm. 


Daily Admission Fees*

 Adults $15 ea.
 Adults Group Discount (25 or more adults) $10 ea.
 Seniors (age 65+) $5 ea.
 College students (with ID) $6 ea.
 Youth (grades 4-12 living in Jefferson County,  Alabama)             Free
 Youth (grades 4-12 living outside Jefferson  County, Alabama) $5 ea.
 Children (grade 3 and younger) Free

* Sundays are first-come, first served for everyone.  Individuals and small groups (25 or less) are donation only.  Groups pay standard admission ($10) all days.
Ask about AAA,  Smithsonian and Military discounts. We are also a member of Blue Star Museums program, which offers free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day annually.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: Lesson Plans for K-12 students

Since its inception in November 1992, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) has focused on educating the public at-large about the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) in Birmingham and the rest of the country.  The Education Department at BCRI is dedicated to reaching individuals, young and old, from all backgrounds and cultural groups, to convey the importance of this Movement then and now.  BCRI has placed special emphasis on helping teachers to explain the Civil Rights Movement to their students.

In 2013, BCRI updated its current curriculum guide, Making Connections, to expand the scope of Civil Rights Movement topics.  For example, some lesson plans include the history about the Black Panther Party’s founding in Lowndes County, Alabama; the significance of Albert Einstein’s anti-racism work; and the influence the CRM had on Cesar Chavez and the farm worker’s movement.

Dr. Samantha Elliott Briggs, who has extensive background in Early Childhood Education, curriculum development and Gender Race and Class research, led BCRI’s curriculum update process and authored many of the new lesson plans.

  1. Kelly Ingram lessons and standards
  2. Foot soldiers lessons and standards
  3. 16th Street Church Bombing Lesson Plan Updated 7.7.16 (4)
  4. Foot soldiers lessons and standards
  5. A Change of Heart Lesson Plan with Standards
  6. Women of the Movement Updated Lesson Plan 7.8.16 (2)
  7. Farm Workers Rights Lesson Plan Updated 7.7.16 (2)
  8. Selma to Montgomery March Lesson Plan Updated 7.8.16 (2)
  9. Black Power in the Black Belt Lesson Plan Updated 7.13.16 (2)
  10. Shirley Chisholm Updated 8.30.16
  11. THE UNEQUAL RACE Updated 8.30.16
  12. Southern Christian Leadership Conference Updated 8.24.16 (1)
  13. Musical Maps Updated Lesson Plan 7.19.16 (1)
  14. City of St Jude Lesson Plan Updated 7.13.16
  15. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Updated Lesson Plan 7.19.16 (1)
  16. Dear Nina Simone Updated lesson plan 7.20.16 (1)
  17. John Lewis Updated 8.30.16 (1)
  18. Lesson Plans Sweet Home Alabama (2)
  19. Martyrs of the Movement Updated 8.30.16 (1)
  20. Albert Einstein Lesson Plan Updated 7.13.16
  21. My Church is a Part of the Community Updated 8.23.16
  22. Jim Crow Laws Updated 8.30.16 (1)
  23. Community Messages Updated 8.30.16 (1)
  24. Selective Buying Campaign Lesson Plan Updated 7.7.16
  25. Paul Robeson Updated 8.30.16 (2)

Check back for additional lessons plans to download later.