Local News

Civil rights pilgrimage group visits Birmingham civil rights monuments on way to Selma

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) - Community leaders from Charlottesville, Virginia spent part of their day in Birmingham touring Civil Rights Movement sites. The members of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage are touring history museums and pivotal Civil Rights Movement sites as they head to Montgomery.

The members are studying the 400 years of Southern racial violence and terror against Black people.  They hope their education will give lead them to solutions to ending current racist violent acts and discrimination towards people of color.

The group was inspired to create change in race relations following last year's deadly attack against a group of people counter-protesting a white supremacists protest in Charlotte. 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when investigators say James Alex Fields Jr. intentionally drove his vehicle into a crowd of anti-white supremacists protestors last August. 

Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro is part of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Bro says her daughter inspired her to do what she's doing now. She says her daughter's memory and what she stood for will live on through their work.

"She would never talk to the masses the way I do. So when I said at her funeral, you've magnified her by killing her. That's what I meant. Not only am I a mouthpiece now and I don't shut up. The world has picked up her message and hopefully it moves forward,"  explained Bro.

The Civil Rights Pilgrimage stopped in Selma after Birmingham. The group will go to Montgomery on Thursday for the soil delivery ceremony for 1898 Charlottesville lynching victim John Henry James. The ceremony will be held at the new Equal Justice Initiative Museum.

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