Saturday, January 31, 2009
So, the trip is over and done. It was totally worth it. I saw more and learned more than I ever would have doing that on my own--not to mention making new great friends. The parts of the trip that really got me were when we were standing in the footsteps of history--standing on the steps of Little Rock High school, walking across Edmund Pettus Bridge, walking through Kelly Ingram Park, looking through the glass at Martin Luther King Jr.'s room at the Lorraine Motel. It's indescribable. It all really hit me in Memphis at the National Civil Rights Museum. That was the most indepth, educational, amazing museum on African American history I've ever been to. And it was more than the exhibits that got me--as I was walking through, I was listening to people's conversations and watching the way they were reacting, and this is what shocked me--a white man had brought his son, probably about 5 years old, and his son was just looking at the pictures as his father kept telling him to hurry up. And then a black man came through with his son, about the same age, and I noticed a major difference--the father was explaining everything to his son. And it struck me that we are deprived--we white northern people are deprived of a very important part of our history. And why? Because it's about black people? Because it took place in the south? This makes me so angry. Slavery and the civil rights movement took place in our country--it's our history--and we should learn everything there is to know about it. Maybe then there would be less ignorance and hate between the races. That is what I gained from this trip, and I will do my best to teach my kids and young cousins more than they are taught in school.