Alabama’s civil-rights memorials
There is no single “civil-rights trail” in Alabama, said Scott Vogel in The Washington Post. The entire state is filled with monuments and scars that tell the story of African-Americans’ long struggle for equality. Montgomery, the state capital, “will forever be associated with Rosa Parks and the 1955 bus boycott.” Martin Luther King Jr. was once senior pastor of the church now known as Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist, which offers regular tours. Birmingham, 90 miles to the north, once had a reputation as “the most segregated city in the South.” Now it’s home to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. On display there are the pale green bars of the cell in which King “wrote his famous ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’” and a replica of a firebombed Greyhound bus similar to the ones traveled in by the Freedom Riders, who advanced the cause of desegregation in southern towns. In 1965, Selma was the scene of a “bloody confrontation” between civil-rights marchers and police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
An ‘art burg’ in the heart of Texas
At first Marfa, Texas, seems to have one of everything, said Josh Noel in the Chicago Tribune. One pizza joint, one coffee shop, one laundry, one bookshop, one radio station. Yet this town in the western corner of the state also has “three museums and nine galleries perched beneath wide blue skies.” Though still mostly a ranching town, Marfa became an “art burg” when one of the founders of minimalism, Donald Judd, moved there in 1973. He installed 100 same-size aluminum boxes in an abandoned military garage at the edge of town. Later, fellow artists mounted similar exhibitions in the same space, now known as the Chinati Foundation. “It draws art lovers from around the world,” and has turned the whole area into a popular art destination. The Marfa Film Festival runs from April 29 to May 3. (Both No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood were filmed nearby.) An odd natural attraction is the Marfa Lights, “an unexplained band of colored orbs” that sometimes floats above the eastern horizon.