Dr. Richard Harris House
Now when I come in the house and I walk through it and talk to visitors, they come in and they say that they feel a spirit when they walk through the door, that they feel something when they come in.
- Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery

This was the home of Dr. Richard Harris, Jr. and his wife Vera. He was the grandson of John W. Jones, Alabama State Senator during Reconstruction. Harris was a captain with the famed 99th Squadron Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.  A registered pharmacist, he owned and operated Dean Drug Store, Montgomery’s oldest black drug store. He was known to be an ardent civil rights supporter. Between May 20-24, 1961, Dr. Harris opened this home to a group of 33 students from Nashville, Tennessee who were challenging interstate bus segregation. Known as the Freedom Riders, this group, including John Lewis, was brutally attacked upon arrival at the historic Montgomery Greyhound Bus station and harassed by rioters. This house provided a safe harbor as well as a strategic meeting place.

History

History

Between May 20-24, 1961 Dr. Harris opened this home to a group of 33 students from Nashville, Tennessee, who were challenging interstate bus segregation. Known as the Freedom Riders, the group was attacked at the historic Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station…

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Tours

Tours

Visit the Dr. Richard Harris House and learn more about various people that made significant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. Tours are scheduled by appointment only.

Coming Soon…

Donate

Donate

Make a contribution to the Dr. Richard Harris House to assist with the continued efforts to educate the community about prominent figures and event in the Civil Rights Movement.

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Just A Neighbor book cover

Just A Neighbor: A Child’s Memoir of the Civil Right Movement

by Dr. Valda H. Montgomery

This narrative depicts life during the 1950s and 1960s in the Centennial Hill neighborhood of Montgomery, AL. The author recounts fond, moving and even traumatic childhood memories involving her family and the families of Vernon Johns and Martin Luther King, Jr.

About the Author

Valda Harris Montgomery, PhD is an associate professor in the Clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at Alabama State University in Montgomery, AL. She is a native of Montgomery, AL and earned degrees from Fisk University, United States Sports Academy and Auburn University. She is the second child of Richard and Vera Harris. Her continued search of family history and lasting childhood memories resulted in the writing of this book.

We are a proud member of the Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium

The Alabama African American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium, Inc. is a collaboration among 20 historic places of worship, lodging and civic engagement that played significant roles in the African American struggle for freedom. While recent history focuses on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, these institutions have been dedicated to improving the quality of Black life since Reconstruction.