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Antebellum Meets Avant-Garde On Alabama Black Belt Tour

An 8-foot bronze statue honoring Coretta Scott King is located in front of the Mt. Tabor AME Church, the church the Scott family attended, located approximately 10 miles north of Marion, Ala.
An 8-foot bronze statue honoring Coretta Scott King is located in front of the Mt. Tabor AME Church, the church the Scott family attended, located approximately 10 miles north of Marion, Ala.
Credit / Perry County Chamber of Commerce / perrycountyalabamachamber.com

 Kevin Benefield details featured stops along the Alabama Black Belt.

Just over an hour southwest of Birmingham, an exit for Alabama State Route 14 doesn’t attract much attention.

But this lonely, one-gas station departure from Interstates 20 and 59 leads travelers into Alabama’s Black Belt, a region steeped in history.

Named for the dark, rich soil that once drew planters across much of the mid-South, the Black Belt prospered in the 19th century.

“City Lights” contributor Kevin Benefield, the editor of Southbound magazine, offers a glimpse of attractions that include former plantations, the birthplace of Coretta Scott King and other stops on Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail and Perry Lakes State Park.