Wednesday, January 12, 2011

01/11/2011 Montgomery/Selma, AL

Montgomery, AL
“…Until the justice rolls down like waters, the righteousness like mighty stream.” Dr. Martin Luther King’s word is carved on the wall outside of the Civil Rights Memorial Center. With it, 40 people’s names are also carved on a circular black granite table where the water is slowly sent out from the center leaving a beautiful water hanging screen underneath. Civil Rights Memorial Center is actually a auditorium museum that exhibits some typical cases happened in the civil rights movement including “Bloody Sunday”, “Birmingham Children’s crusade”, “Montgomery Bus Boycott” and several people were killed in the movement being emphasized from “Emmett Till” to “King’s assassination”. The main part of museum is a 20 minutes long documentary telling the history of the memorial and to brush up those glorious names. At the end of the visitation, I put my name on the “wall of tolerance”. Although this such a small contribution would not be counted comparing to the whole civil rights movement, but for me, it is really a kind way to do something and to express my respecting to it.

Dexter Ave. King Memorial Baptist Church is the second stop on the schedule. After seeing another documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King’s career and the information of the city Montgomery and the church itself, we visited King’s original work place and the sanctuary. I can see the old decoration; all the chairs and tables are having at least 120 years. Entire of these are indicating that how hard of the working environment it is and how poor of the finance support in that particular era.

Selma, AL
Before joining the group back in Eau Claire, I had seen the famous black women and heard about her story partially. Today, in Selma, I saw her in person finally. When I put my first sight on Joanna, I knew that this is a strong women both with physical and mind. Bus started moving on the streets. I can easily tell the differences between north and south of America. Poor as it is, the neighborhoods are looked without any vitality. The abandoned houses appeared form time to time. There was a segregated area obviously showing that how different of the living condition between white and Negro population. There are some civil rights museums in the city of Selma. Not like the Art Institution of Chicago or Natural History museum in D.C., the museums here don’t have those majestic exterior conditions but still using their ways to tell us the history of the nation silently.

Bus tour just gave me a preview of how the people struggled and what foundation that colored people fight on. Therefore, we got off the bus and followed Joanna into a black community. She let us picking a stone, “Is the stone burning?” she asked. Hell yes! Of course! I realized that every piece of stone we picked is actually a piece of history, a history happened on the land of Selma, a history happened on the land of the United States, even a history happened on the whole world. Also, just like these small chunk of rocks, every people is a small piece of power. Chinese people like to say a quote: Several little sparks are able to burn the whole plain.” Depending on this, although the power of own people is small, but every small power could be combined into a large power, a power totally can push the process of the history of human being.

Forgetting is painful, Forgetting is necessary! When she held Paul in her arms, I know what love is. Water is healing, water is comforting but water is not smoothing the carves on the stone. Have already been though all the sorrow, a member of victim still could act like a friend, this kind of love has been beyond the boundary of race.

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