“Hopefully when people hear about the civil rights trail, it will make them aware there are locations near where they are that changed the world,” Mr. Sentell said. “I’m just surprised this hadn’t been done earlier.”

In the last few years a loud debate has raged across the country over what to do with Confederate statues. While those arguments are focused on whether to tear down or remove monuments, other government officials, nonprofit groups and entrepreneurs have been more quietly constructing new ways to focus on the history of civil rights. Some efforts, like the US Civil Rights Trail, are intended to bring more attention to existing sites. Others are building new structures that better explain what took place in the past.

“These projects are positive spins on the social injustice, monument discussion happening in our country,” said Jeanne Cyriaque, a cultural heritage consultant for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “They describe a people’s movement that is very much at the forefront today.”


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s boyhood home in Atlanta, which will be part of a Georgia civil rights trail.

Mike Fairbanks

She played a major role in helping the state of Georgia create the Georgia Civil Rights Trail, which will launch in April 2018, in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary — April 4 — of King’s…

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