The weekend tour journeys from Atlanta to black historical sites and landmarks in the cities of Birmingham, Marion, Selma, Whitehall, Montgomery and Tuskegee.
Lowery is the wife of noted civil rights activist the Rev. Joseph Lowery. She and the SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. have constructed 13 memorials in remembrance of those who sacrificed or gave their lives to the struggle.
Since 1987, she has personally hosted the tour that retraces the steps of the civil rights movement in Alabama.
The tour takes off from the nonprofit’s Atlanta headquarters at 328 Auburn Ave.
Monuments in Alabama include those honoring Coretta Scott King; the Rev. James Reeb; Albert Turner Sr.; Rosa Louise Parks; Viola Liuzzo; Freedom Wall Perry County; U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Marie Foster & Amelia Boynton, and Hosea Williams; Earl T. Shinhoster; Freedom Wall – Selma; the Rev. James Orange; and Jimmie Lee Jackson.
This year, they also will visit the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, which was bombed by the Ku Klux Klan on Sept. 15, 1963. Four black girls – Denise McNair, 11, and Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robinson and Addie Mae Collins, all 14 years old – who were attending Sunday School in the church’s basement, were killed in the restroom, which was near where 22 sticks of dynamites were set.
Tour participants can relive events that brought about dramatic change in the United States and hear the stories of the guides, including Decatur resident Barbara Cross, who was there in the 1960s. Cross was the 13-year-old daughter of the Rev. John H. Cross, pastor of the church when it was bombed. The four slain girls were her friends.
On March 4, the tour will join the Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights activists for the 47th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the March 7, 1965, crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge during which police brutally beat civil rights marchers on a 54-mile trek from Selma to Montgomery to protest discrimination and to call for voter rights.
The cost of the trip, which includes the bus ride and one-night hotel stay, is $275 for adults and $225 for students.
Students under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For youth groups, one adult is required for every five students.
Sponsorships, from $225 to $5,000, also are available. For more information, visit www.sclcwomeninc.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For membership, volunteer and donation information, call 404-584-0303.
Day trip to Selma
Families also can take a day bus trip to Selma on March 4.
The 2012 “It’s a Family Affair” Pilgrimage to Selma, Ala., commemorates the 47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
It leaves the Mall at West End in southwest Atlanta at 6 a.m. on March 4 and returns at 9 p.m.
The trip is sponsored by the Voter Empowerment Collaborative, a program of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Love in Action Ministries.
Riders will worship at Shiloh Baptist Church at 11 a.m. and march to the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Brow Chapel AME Church at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $35 per person. An optional lunch at Shiloh Baptist Church is $7.
For more information, call the Rev. Albert Love at 404-788-4542 or the Rev. Ward at 770-572-3782.