April 16, 2023
Please join AAA Travel and Fred Hearns with the Tampa Bay History Center for an in-depth exploration of the important destinations of the Civil Rights Movement
Experience the legacy of those who changed history and walk in the footsteps of civil rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Learn about Memphis’ history at the National Civil Rights Museum and see the Lorraine Motel. Visit the Mason Temple, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “Mountaintop” speech. This tour also includes a trip to Little Rock, Ark., where we’ll have a guided tour of this historic area, including the Central High School, with a photo opportunity at the Little Rock Nine Memorial at the State Capitol.
History Center members at the Supporter Level and above receive a $75 per person discount off the listed price
Fred Hearns is the curator of Black history at the Tampa Bay History Center. In this role, he speaks on Black history topics in Tampa, Fla., before the community, government, religious, and business groups. He leads tours and coordinates Black history exhibit collections at the History Center. Hearns is a Life Member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He is president of the Zion Cemetery Preservation and Maintenance Society and works with several committees and groups focusing on local Black history. Please see his Bio below the itinerary.
* Rates are per person, land only, based on double occupancy. Single rate is $1,999. A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $400 per person is due at time of booking. Rates, hotels, terms, conditions, speakers, events and itinerary are subject to change. Rates do not include airfare. AAA member benefits are valid for passengers who book through AAA travel only and may be substituted/eliminated based on passenger participation and have no cash value. This tour requires average physical activity. Participants should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground. Other restrictions may apply. The Auto Club Group is not responsible for errors or omissions in the promotion of this tour.
Upon arrival in Memphis, Tenn., your motor coach will pick up the group for a Meet and Greet Welcome Lunch. Afterward, there will be an orientation tour of the city and its numerous Civil Rights locations – narrated by Fred Hearns.
Visit Beale Street Historic District – U.S. Civil Rights Trail and stop at the I AM A MAN Plaza on Hernando Street. Learn about the Cliff Garten Studio projects and workshops organized by the UrbanArt Commission that created the large-scale experiential public sculpture and Plaza. Adjacent to this Plaza is the Clayborn Temple, part of the 2018 National Trust for Historic Preservation. Clayborn Temple currently serves as a space for restoration, artistic production, social innovation, economic justice, and community transformation.
Visit the WDIA Radio Station, America’s first Black radio station and the heart and soul of Memphis. Follow the Civil Rights Trail at the Mason Temple Church, where Dr. King delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech the evening before his death.
Explore the Stax Museum of American Soul, dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of Stax Records and American soul music. Dinner is on your own this evening.
After breakfast, we’ll visit the National Civil Rights Museum (Lorraine Motel) and the Legacy Building. The museum offers artifacts, films, oral histories, interactive media, and external listening posts that guide visitors through five centuries of history – from the beginning of the resistance during slavery through the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Your afternoon is free to explore on your own.
Join the group for a Foodie Tour, including Famous Memphis BBQ, this evening. (B, D)
Today, we’ll head to Little Rock, Ark., and the Clinton Center. We’ll have lunch at 42 Bar and Table, with seating on the outdoor terrace with a view of the Arkansas River.
After lunch, we’ll travel to Little Rock Central High School for a guided tour of this historical area with a photo opportunity at the Little Rock Nine Memorial at the State Capitol. The Little Rock Nine Monument honors the courage of the nine African-American students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School who began desegregating the city’s public schools in 1957 with the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education.
Later, we’ll head to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, dedicated to telling the story of the African American experience in Arkansas.
This evening, back in Memphis, enjoy a group Farwell Dinner. (B, D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Tampa, taking some amazing insights into the Civil Rights Movement. (B)
AAA EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS:
- Beale Street Historic District
- I AM A MAN PLAZA
- Clayborn Temple
- WDIA Radio Station
- Mason Temple Church
- Stax Museum
- National Civil Rights Museum (Lorraine Motel)
- Foodie Tour
- Little Rock Central High School & The Little Rock Nine Monument
- Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
- 3-nights Hotel Accommodations
- 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
- Sightseeing admissions as per itinerary
- Deluxe Coach and driver
- Host Fred Hearns, Insider Expert from the TBHC
- Services of a AAA Tour Manager
Fred Hearns was born in the Bronx, N.Y., and grew up in East Tampa, Fla. He graduated from George S. Middleton High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida (USF). Hearns holds master’s degrees from Springfield College in Human Services and USF in Africana Studies. Early in his career, he worked as a newspaper journalist before becoming Sports Information Director at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.
Hearns began a 32-year career with the City of Tampa in 1975 and retired as director of the Department of Community Affairs in 2007. He has visited Black history museums and historic sites in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Nebraska, among other states. In 2007 Hearns launched his local history tour and consulting businesses, and today operates Fred Hearns & Associates LLC.
In October 2021, the Tampa Bay History Center hired Hearns as its first Curator of Black History. In this role, he speaks on Black history topics in Tampa before the community, government, religious, and business groups. He leads tours on special occasions and coordinates Black history exhibit collections at the History Center. Hearns is a Life Member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He is president of the Zion Cemetery Preservation and Maintenance Society and works with several local committees and groups focusing on local black history. Hearns is a member of the Pi Iota Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and worships at Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church in Tampa. He has four adult children and five grandchildren. Hearns lives in St. Petersburg, Fla.
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