First-ever Civil Rights Trail Market opens at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

Civil Rights Trail Market
Mayor Randall Woodfin at the grand opening of Civil Rights Trail Market. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

On Wednesday, August 24, community leaders gathered at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport to host the ribbon cutting for the Civil Rights Trail Market. The new airport store is the first of its kind and features the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book by author Lee Sentell, a new mural highlighting the national and local civil rights movements as well as branded Civil Rights Trail merchandise.

Keep reading to learn more.

Opening the Civil Rights Trail Market

Civil Rights Trail Market
Lee Sentell, Mayor Randall Woodfin and Art Meripol at the grand opening of Civil Rights Trail Market. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Developed in collaboration with leading North American travel retailer Hudson, the Civil Rights Trail Market is a brand-new resource for travelers to and from Birmingham interested in learning more about the local civil rights movement and its impact on the National Civil Rights Movement.

“We have a rich history here. The Civil Rights Trail Market gives those visiting our city an entire portion of the history that happened in Birmingham and its impact. The city of Birmingham looks forward to continuing to put on a forward face for our travelers, our visitors and all involved.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin
Civil Rights Trail Market
Councilor Hunter Williams checking out the Official US Civil Rights Trail book with author Lee Sentell. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

“I think that what is behind us today, these markers on the side of this market show where Birmingham has been; it shows a past that maybe we’re not proud of, but it also helps show where we have gone and where we are going, because we’re not there, yet. Birmingham will continue to push for equality for all people.”

Councilor Hunter Williams, District 2

The ribbon-cutting featured community partners and guest speakers, including:

  • Mayor Randall Woodfin, city of Birmingham
  • Lee Sentell, Director of Alabama Tourism Department
  • Art Meripol, former Southern Living photographer who captured the powerful images in the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book
  • Frank Biasi, Director of Digital Development & Geotourism, National Geographic
  • Ron Mathieu, CEO & President, Birmingham Airport Authority
  • Darlene Wilson, Chair of the Board, Birmingham Airport Authority
  • Courtney Thornton, EVP Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Hudson
  • Carol McElheney, Regional Vice president of Operations, Hudson

About the Civil Rights Trail Book

Civil Rights Trail Market
Lee Sentell, director of Alabama Tourism Department and author of the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The centerpiece of the Civil Rights Trail Market is the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book by author Lee Sentell. The book serves as the official guide to the US Civil Rights Trail, a collection of 135+ churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks spread across 15 Southern states where activists played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Through incredible photos from photographer Art Meripol and even augmented reality, the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book brings to life the most impactful stories from the Civil Rights Movement.

“They say a picture’s worth 1000 words, but I think actually behind every picture is another story with 1000 words. I’m hoping that the pictures in this book tell those stories. I never found this more evident than my experience traveling the trail around the southeast and photographing all these significant landmarks on the trail along with the team. It’s been really incredible to see of all the work we all put in on this Trail coming to an a fruition on the site website, in the companion book and of course here with the market. Honestly, this is probably the most meaningful project I’ve had in my career.”

Art Meripol, Photographer

Click here to learn more about the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book.

What You’ll Find at the Civil Rights Trail Market

Civil Rights Trail Market
Some of the merchandise available at the Civil Rights Trail Market. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

In addition to the Official US Civil Rights Trail Book, the market features branded Civil Rights Trail merchandise such as hats, shirts, cups, tote bags and more.

In addition to the branded merchandise, the Civil Rights Trail Market features a massive mural highlighting some of the most impactful events of the Civil Rights Movement.

Civil Rights Trail Market
The timeline mural at the Civil Rights Trail Market. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Planning to visit the Civil Rights Trail Market the next time you visit the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know when you do!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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