The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a large museum and foundation in downtown Birmingham, Alabama that bring to life the struggles and values of the American Civil Rights movement. I'd suggest visiting the museum as part of a morning in Birmingham's Civil Rights district. The museum is located by other historical sites like Kelly Ingram Park and the famous 16th Baptist Church and it's worth spending a whole day immersing yourself in the area.
The museum itself is incredibly well-organized and interactive. You start with an 8-minute video which traces the history of the city of Birmingham from its founding to the days of slavery to the segregated city of the early 20th century. This video gives you the context to understand the rest of the exhibits detailing African American life in 20th century Birmingham and the city's important role in the Civil Rights movement.
I think it's one of the best museums in Alabama and I'd definitely put it in my Birmingham top 5. If you're only going to be in Birmingham for a day or two, make sure to pay a visit to the Civil Rights Institute. Oh, and before I forget...AAA members get a few dollars off the entry price to make sure to bring your card!