Friday, January 16, 2009

Last Leg of the Trip...

So we are on our last few stops of the trip, and I think that the lesson learned best by this experience is that history is around us EVERYWHERE and all we have to do is stop our crazy lives for a few moments, and get to know the environment around us.

Everywhere we have been, the most I have learned about a certain topic has been not through the history books I have read or the lectures I have heard, but by the oral accounts presented by the people who were there, themselves. When I was in Birmingham, we ran into a lady at the Greyhound bus station, pouring coffee. She was a normal, typical person, just doing their everyday job in their everyday life. This friendly, seemidngly normal person turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip for me.

She told us about the police and the hate crimes of the 1960s in her city. How her husband and brother was sprayed by firehoses to the point their hair and skin were ripped off their bodies. Her stories were the accounts of the millions of unsung heroes, the fighters who fought everyday just for equality. I will never forget her and the stories she shared. She was never looking for fame or money or power: just equality.

This is an experience I think all people, no matter the age or race or sex, should be familiar with. It is amazing how much we can learn if we all would stop and just listen to each other and the stories we all bring to the table. I look forward to these last few precious days, and the history we will become aquainted with.

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