Historic Markers Across Alabama

After the March—Tent City

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: in the NPS Lowndes Interpretive Center, 7002 US-80, Hayneville, AL
County: Lowndes
Coordinates: N 32° 16.242    W 086° 43.667
  32.2707    -86.72778333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


After the March—Tent City
Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

Since the federal registrars came in August of 1965, thousands and thousands of Negroes have registered to vote. White plantation owners have retaliated by mass evictions. In December 1965, over forty families either left the county, moved in with friends and relatives, or took up residence in "Tent City" in Lowndes County, Alabama.
Excerpt from memo written to Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) staff from SNCC Alabama staff members
Stokely Carmichael, Bob Mants, and Tina Harris, February 28, 1966

In December 1965, in the field east of the interpretive center, a small cluster of canvas tents was erected and became known as "Tent City" It was home to some eight families for almost two and one-half years, following the families' eviction from their tenant farms by white landowners. Their transgression? Seeking their right to vote.

Visit the Lowndes Interpretive Center and walk the path that leads to the Tent City site. Tent City represents the aftermath of a battle long fought and won for the voting rights of all Americans. Inside the interpretive center and along the path you can learn of the events that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, brought about by what some call the greatest nonviolent protest of the Civil Rights Movement—the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March.

During the Selma to Montgomery march, Stokely Carmichael (center) and other members of SNCC moved into Lowndes County to help black residents register to vote. At the time of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 there were only a handful of registered black voters in Lowndes County, even though. blacks composed 85 percent of the county's population.

With the assistance of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Lowndes County Christian Movement for Human Rights purchased six and three- quarter acres of land on this site. Families who had no place else to go moved here after being evicted from their tenant homes.

2015 National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

Photographs of the marker can be found on HMDB.org

End of After the March—Tent City