Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Now that I have a had a few days to absorb the information I learned on the trip, I am further understanding the importance of it all. We were a part of history. Most of the Civil Rights Movement was taught to me in early middle school; Rosa Parks, MLK, the Freedom Riders, and the Little Rock Nine were all covered. Actually being at these places and meeting people that were involved has re-instilled the information. Now that I am old enough to truly comprehend it all, I can use it in my adult life.

I was, and still am, in awe of how strong, immense, and powerful the will of this movement was. It is difficult to get individuals to sacrifice their convenience for a greater good, one they may not see the results of, and the Civil Rights Movement did just that. These people had experienced hardship for generations and they were done, it was time to do something about it. In current society I feel there is an attitude if something is wrong, someone else will change it. But I learned "If not us, who? and if not now, when?"

All of the spirit that exploded during this movement continues to transcend today. One example is President Obama's Inauguration; the Reverend Dr. Joseph E Lowry spoke and in his speech he quoted MLK Jr. He used the same line that was engraved on the water memorial--"until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream". This signifies that the movement is not over, something that was apparent on our trip down there.

The narcotics officer, a state official mind you, that supported the actions of "Bull" Conner. The fact that the only people that panhandled on the street were black etc. We take it for granted that were are from the north. One huge thing this trip taught me was that there is a difference between the north and the south...we share a flag but not always ideals. Its not perfect everywhere but the race issues are more profound in the south.

I am so glad that I was able to go on this trip. I learned a lot, and most I had already covered but I do well with repetition. We could all use a reminder on what people had to go through in order for our country to be the way it is today. I also had a great time meeting new people, almost all from Eau Claire but all with different stories. We all had a different parable that added to the experience.

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