Travel Through American History

October 15th-22nd, 2023
$4,970 per person (based on double occupancy room)

Join our fellow travelers on a fascinating, exclusive tour that will bring you face to face with one of the greatest movements in American politics. This carefully curated program looks back on the tragedies and triumphs of the Freedom Riders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, and the Little Rock Nine. We’ll take you on an unforgettable journey through the heart of the American South to visit iconic sites and actually meet some other activists who helped shape the America we know today. You’ll be guided in air-conditioned comfort from Mississippi to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama and finish with a profound and moving understanding of one of the most important chapters in our national story.

You’ll visit Bryant’s Grocery, in Greenwood, Mississippi, where 14-year-old Emmett Till allegedly whistled at white shopkeeper Caroline Bryant before he was brutally murdered. In Arkansas, at Little Rock High School, a national symbol of the often violent struggle over school desegregation, you’ll meet Dr. Elizabeth Eckford, who was one of the famed “Little Rock Nine.” In Birmingham, Alabama, you’ll tour the 16th Street Baptist Church and meet the Reverend Carolyn McKinstry, who was inside the church when the bomb exploded that killed four young girls. In Montgomery, you’ll learn about the work of the Equal Justice Initiative and visit with Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery, whose parents provided an important safe house for Freedom Riders.

The history of the South will come alive with local music and some of the finest cooking you’ll ever taste. You’ll enjoy barbecue, hot buttered biscuits, and other specialties as you listen to juke-joint artists play the blues.

Please join us on this very special trip through American history.

“I love bringing the stories of the Civil Rights Movement alive for people, exploring the themes and lessons. and connecting it to the politics and culture of America today,” says Dr. Thomas L. Doughton, who for the past 20 years has been the senior lecturer at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.


Includes: Reception and dinner

Independent arrivals in Jackson. Transfer to the Westin Jackson. Afternoon visit to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. This museum provides an honest and painful account of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, beginning with the backstory to the civil rights period—the European slave trade. Evening welcome reception and dinner at the hotel.


Includes: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Our morning begins at the Medgar Evers Home Museum, where Evers lived and where, in 1963, he was assassinated. Walk past the home, which has been restored to the way it looked in 1963. Continue to Malaco Records, an American independent record label based in Jackson that has been the home of various major blues and gospel acts. Continue to the COFO Civil Rights Education Center and meet with Dr. Robert Luckett, director of the Margaret Walker Center. We also meet with Hezekiah Watkins, a civil rights activist who became the youngest Freedom Rider nearly 60 years ago.

After lunch, drive to the former Greyhound bus station, a prominent site from the 1961 Freedom Rides. Continue to Farish Street, a thriving center of African American life in the Jim Crow era, and pass by the Collins Funeral Home, where 4,000 mourners marched after the death of Medgar Evers.

Stop by the Big Apple Inn, where we will meet with the owner, Geno Lee, whose unique delicacy, the pig ear sandwich, or Ears, has attracted the likes of B.B. King and even President Obama.

Dinner tonight at Johnny T’s, and after, enjoy a private performance by a local blues musician.


Includes: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Depart Jackson today for Little Rock, stopping by the B.B. King Museum. Drive to Greenwood and the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, where we have an authentic, delicious barbecue lunch prepared by Mary Hoover, who catered for the movie The Help. Continue to Baptist Town with Sylvester Hoover who shows you their store and the Back in the Day Museum. Tour the community museum, which explores the history of African American culture in the Delta. Continue on to the nearby town of Money to see the remains of Bryant’s Grocery, the site associated with the murder of black teenager Emmett Till.

End the day in Sumner, and meet with Benjamin Saulsberry at the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, where we will learn of the apology resolution written by the community. Enjoy dinner at Sumner Grille before continuing on to Little Rock and the Burgundy Hotel.



Includes: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Today begins with a visit to Little Rock Central High School, a national emblem of the often violent struggle over school desegregation. The crisis here forced the nation to enforce African American civil rights in the face of massive Southern defiance during the years following the Brown decision, a major triumph of the movement. Here we will have the opportunity to meet with Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine.

Continue on to the Clinton Presidential Center, housed in a gleaming modern space overlooking the Arkansas River. Continue on to Memphis and check in to the hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant.


Includes: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Begin the morning at the Lorraine Motel, now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed at the motel on April 4, 1968, the day of his assassination. Enjoy lunch at the Four Way, one of the oldest soul food restaurants in Memphis, whose regulars included Martin Luther King Jr., Isaac Hayes, and Aretha Franklin. This afternoon, we will focus on Memphis’s music history with a visit to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located in Soulsville. End the day with a visit the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, where dark cellars, hidden passageways, and trap doors were used by runaway slaves attempting to flee north to freedom. Dinner is at your leisure this evening.



Includes: Breakfast and lunch

This morning, drive to Birmingham and meet with Carolyn McKinstry at the 16th Street Baptist Church, where a bomb killed four young girls as they prepared to sing in their choir on September 15, 1963. The Reverend Carolyn McKinstry was 14 and inside the church when the bomb exploded. Across the street is the historic Kelly Ingram Park, site of civil rights rallies, demonstrations, and confrontations in the 1960s. Now sculptures provide visual reminders of the past.

Continue by road to Selma and stop at the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the site of Malcolm X’s address in support of voting rights. Three marches from Selma to Montgomery began here, and it served as the temporary headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

At the Selma Interpretive Center, enjoy a conversation with Foot Soldier Annie Pearl Avery, whose civil rights work spans decades. Walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where we will walk in memory of those who were beaten while seeking the right to vote. Continue on to Montgomery via the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, and check in to the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel. Dinner this evening is at your leisure.


Includes: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Morning drive to the home of Richard and Vera Harris with their daughter, Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery. Located four doors down from MLK’s parsonage, the house was a haven for freedom riders. Enjoy a short walking tour and a chance to hear of the extraordinary meetings that took place in this home.

End the morning at the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. Focusing on the history of racial injustice, the museum is situated on the site where enslaved people were once warehoused.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the deeply powerful National Memorial for Peace and Justice, created by the Equal Justice Initiative. End the day with a debrief led by Robert Greene that allows an opportunity to discuss our experiences of the week.

Enjoy a farewell dinner at Central Restaurant.


Includes: Breakfast

Independent transfers to the airport for return flights home.



  • Tour Price Per Person
    Based on a minimum of 20 travelers
  • Single Occupancy Room


  • Accommodations and meals as per itinerary
  • All sightseeing in an air-conditioned coach
  • Bottled water on the bus
  • All entrances and events as listed
  • Discussion Leader to accompany the group
  • Predeparture materials and reading list
  • The services of a professional tour manager to accompany the group
  • Gratuities


  • Airfare to Jackson and back from Montgomery
  • Alcoholic beverage except for wine and beer at welcome and farewell events
  • Excess luggage fees
  • Trip insurance
  • Items of purely personal nature

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