Tuesday, January 12, 2010

all around Alabama...

I had some really amazing and emotional experiences today. We started off with a tour of Alabama's capitol building, which really put things in perspective for us as to how far we still have to go in terms of truly understanding inequality and how deeply embedded racism is within our country. We then toured the Civil Rights Memorial, which is always very powerful for me. At this site, students were able to fully realize the modern day social justice issues that are still very much alive today as well as the individual impact they can have on dissolving those issues. Our group then visited Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where MLK Jr. served as minister and where his personal pulpit and chair still reside. The whole day was jampacked with events but each was really meangingful in so many ways.

Our journey then continued on to Selma, Alabama where our group was once again able to meet with Ms. Joann Bland at the National Voting Rights Museuem. We had the opportunity to hear the personal story of her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the testimony of her older sister. I cannot even put into words how much their words really meant to me. Their stories were so inspiring to listen to. Joann marched with her sister Linda during Bloody Sunday and then again from Selma to Montgomery and even though I have heard her story before, it still was shocking to once again be faced with the fact that these events didn't occur that long ago in our history. They really happened, to individuals just like me. It really makes me wonder what I would do in the same situation.

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