Tuesday, January 11, 2011

From Montgomery to Selma

After our day in the hotel in Birmingham because of the ice storm that hit, we traveled to Montgomery to tour the Southern Poverty Law Center Civil Rights Memorial. This was the start to a very impacting day. The memorial showed the stories of 40 Martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement and how they were ordinary citizens and may have inspired great things. We then toured the Dexter Avenue King Memorial church and we were able to stand at the same pulpit that MLK preached from. During our free time for lunch we were able to go to the Alabama capital and the confederate white house. It is disheartening to hear and see how much Alabama covers up their history when it comes to how blacks were treated.

Soon after we traveled the same path between Montgomery and Selma. At Selma we were shown around by a foot soldier of the movement. She has been a resident of Selma her whole life and she not only showed us around the city, she shared personal stories of the experience. The remarkable thing is that she told us in an inspiring tone and in a way to get us to use our voices, talents, and resources to continue the movement. If she could have faced the brutality of Bloody Sunday at the age of 11, and continue to fight for the movement, then what is stopping us from continuing so many others work.

I am going to use my life to help complete the jigsaw puzzle that is the continuing movement towards true equality. I am going to stand up to my peers, especially those that it is the hardest to stand up to, your friends or the people you are developing friendships. I will call them out when they are using offensive words and tell them why they shouldn't. I will strive to share with others what I have experienced on this trip and what I know about the Civil Rights Movement. I will raise my children to not judge a person, and to see someone as just a person and not as someone of a different race. I will strive to get things changed for those that are struggling by using my voice to represent them, and by supporting others in many different ways. I will also continually try to catch myself and retain myself from making judgements and will try to get to know others as much as I can. And I hope to not only look to our country, but also to the world. Even when I stumble and make mistakes, I will strive to remember the impact that I can have on my community and the world. This truly has been a life changing event and one that I want to help get others to experience.

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