MONTGOMERY, AL – Alabama State University (ASU) houses one of three Interpretive Centers that stretches along the national Selma-to-Montogmery Historic Trail. The Montgomery Interpretive Center exists to commemorate the people, events, and route connected with the 1965 March.

When visiting the center, visitors will learn about the origins of the Civil Rights Movement, especially the people and students who put their lives on the line to fight injustice, events and route connected with the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. They will also learn about the murder of Marion’s Jimmy Lee Jackson whose death served as the catalyst for the March.

“The Center stands here on ASU’s campus as a celebration and a hallowed reminder of a brave band of American citizens who stood up for equality, justice, freedom and the right to vote,” said Quinton T. Ross, ASU President. “I thank the National Park Service for being our partner in this endeavor and the countless people who made this dream a reality.”

The center sits adjacent to the ASU football stadium along a corner block that serves as a gateway into campus. It is across from the homes of civil rights icon Ralph Abernathy and singer Nat King Cole. It serves as the third and final civil rights Interpretive Center along the March trail. The other interpretive centers are in downtown Selma and Lowndes County.

“The Center serves as a reminder of what Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, F.D. Reese and so manny others did to make equal justice and freedom a reality for all. It also serves as a reminder that we still have further to March before Dr. King’s ideal of a Beloved Community is achieved,” said Ross.

The Grand Opening was set for March 25; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a possibility that the event has been postponed and the center remains closed.


About the Selma to Montgomery Trail

Alabama’s Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail honors the 54-mile march of white and black non-violent supporters, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail stands as a testament to the sacrifices made in the triumph to preserve the right to vote as the bedrock of American democracy.


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Did you know? On August 3, 1957, lawyer, judge, politician, diplomat and clergyman Archibald J. Carey Jr., was the first African-American appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as Chair of his committee on government employment policy, working to reduce racial discrimination.

The youngest of five children born to the Reverend Archibald J. Carey, a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and his wife, Elizabeth H. Carey, Carey Jr., was a native of Chicago, Illinois where he attended Wendell Phillips High School. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree from Lewis Institute (now Illinois Institute of Technology) in 1928, as well as a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Northwestern University in 1932, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1935.

He was pastor of Woodlawn AME Church in Chicago from 1930-1949 before moving to Quinn Chapel AME Church, Chicago’s second oldest Protestant church, where he served until 1967. Carey also served as Republican alderman of Chicago’s 3rd Ward (1947-1955) and an alternate member of the United States delegation to the Eighth General Assembly of the United Nations in 1953.

In 1966, Carey was elected as a circuit judge in Cook County, Illinois, a position he held at the time of his death in April 1981.

In 1952, Carey was one of the speakers at the Republican  National Convention which met in Chicago. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington may have been influenced by Carey’s address, which concluded: “… from every mountain side, let freedom ring. Not only from the Green mountains and the White mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire; not only from the Catskills of New York; but from the Ozarks in Arkansas, from the Stone Mountain in Georgia, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia–let it ring not only for the minorities in the United States; but for … the disinherited of all the earth…–may the Republican Party, under God, from every mountainside, LET FREEDOM RING!”