Boston tour company now offering 11-day civil rights tour for $2,595

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Boston-based Grand Circle Travel, a company launched in 1958 to serve American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) members, announced Tuesday  that it will begin offering a civil rights tour to “travelers interested in understanding pivotal moments from the Civil Rights Movement,” according to a press release.

“Let Freedom Ring: A Civil Rights Journey” aims to provide travelers with an “emotional journey” through civil rights sites in Alabama and Mississippi, which will be guided by local people who witnessed or participated in historic events in Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham and elsewhere.

The tour will 11 days and cost travelers nearly $2,600, with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery.

“Travelers will follow the footsteps of John Lewis, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of other activists who faced violent opposition in their march for voting rights,” the press release boasts of the stop in Selma. “With a ‘foot soldier’ who was there to experience it firsthand as a guide, travelers will walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, then trace the protesters’ route to Montgomery.”

In Montgomery, sightseers will visit the Rosa Parks Museum, which sits on the spot where Parks was arrested, where they “will delve into the legacy of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” and learn how Parks’ actions “changed America.”

Travelers will also visit 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, where four black girls were killed in a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) bombing, and “learn more about the city’s turbulent past and its hopes for the future at the neighboring Civil Rights Institute.”

Clare Chapman of Boulder, Colorado, was among those who took part in an early incarnation of the tour, said the voyage resonated with her.

“This Civil Rights Tour has changed my life,” Chapman said in a Grand Circle Travel press release. “These lessons from our U.S. history are essential for every American to learn. This trip is a must for all of us.”

The press release goes on to say that the “trip will celebrate African-American culture through its soulful food, music and art” and provide travelers with the opportunity to “meet with fellow Americans from all walks of life who continue to fight for equal rights for all people today.”