Friday, January 21, 2011

Aaron Zucker - Day 5: Birmingham and Selma

Today started off with a trip to the Civil rights memorial center. It was shocking to me how even today they are still getting on average one death threat a day. I found it very interesting how few of the people in the memorial I knew. I would have thought that since these were the people who had a great impact on the movement in either life, death or both; that these names would ring a bell in my mind. There was no such luck; most of the names were completely new to me. After the Memorial center we went on a tour of the Alabama state capitol building. This was one of the most eye opening looks at the former south and showed how the feelings of southerners were hidden. On the tour we saw confederate flags flying, a large picture of the Governor who was in office during the civil rights movement, and very few pictures of people of color. When people of color were portrayed it was the classic “happy” slave picture. One of the most interesting facets of the capitol building was in the rotunda there were four gold embossed emblems of the countries that Alabama has belonged to, they were Spain, France, England, and the Confederate Union. Why were they not a part of The United States? When we asked our tour guide about this he said that he had never noticed that before. After that we went to Selma and met Joanne Bland, who is amazing. See is probably one of my new favorite people. One of the things that we did with Joanne was visit a big block of cement. The cement was where people had met for the bloody Sunday march. We were standing on history, some of the people who stood there didn’t return that day. It really upset me that I had never learned about this before this trip.

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