By UFxFAMU1963 | May 22, 2023

1963 was a pivotal year in the Civil Rights Movement. The Children’s Crusade and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Gov. George Wallace trying to block efforts to integrate the University of Alabama, the assassination of Medgar Evers in Mississippi, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – they all helped to stir the nation’s consciousness.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of those events, 11 students – seven from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville and four from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication in Tallahassee – spent their 2023 spring break reporting from across the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.

This website offers reflection essays and/or multimedia reporting outcomes from each student – and a 25-minute documentary in which they recount their eight-day, 2,800-mile journey through Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“The history I have learned along the U.S. Civil Rights Trail will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Gabriela Rodriguez, a UF senior journalism major from North Miami Beach, Florida, wrote in her reflection. “I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with others and, hopefully, they too can learn from my experiences.”

[Above] UFxFAMU1963 members share a moment in Glendora, Mississippi, with Johnny B. Davis (center), the village’s mayor and founder of the Emmett Till Historic Intrepid Center. The museum was once a cotton gin owned by one of Till’s abductors. [Top] For an outdoor mural project on its building near the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, an organization called Facing History and Ourselves sought to honor local residents who “embraced the challenge to speak out, did the right thing, and made decisions that helped create positive change.” (Serra Sowers/WUFT News)