Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 3 and 4

On Sunday we were up before the sun to get to Ebenezer Baptist Church for the 8am service. The first "glitch" we encountered for the day was Sunday happened to be the Atlanta Marathon and there were thousands of people running the marathon blocking our path to the church. Us being cool UWEC students we took this in stride and just joined the marathon for about 8 seconds or however long it took us to get across the street without cutting off any runners. The second "glitch" was that it also happened to be Ebenezer's 125th anniversary this particular Sunday so the service wasn't until 11am. So we took advantage of our free time to visit a variety of MLK sites. I watched two videos at the Visitor Center talking about MLK Jr.'s life, visited MLK's tomb, The Eternal Flame, and Dr. King's Birth Home. It was really cool to walk around and think about the fact that MLK Jr. himself walked in the exact same area.

At 11am we were able to attend the church service in Ebenezer. It was a very special service (being the 125th Anniversary and all) and it was awesome! Jennifer Holliday sang, Jon Lewis spoke, and the sermon was very moving. It was really cool to experience such a different church atmosphere than what I am used to. We left for Birmingham around 1:30pm and went straight to Kelly Ingram Park. We then visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and got to learn about the Civil Rights Movement events that occurred in Birmingham. We then went to the University of Alabama-Birmingham and talked with Dr. Pamela King. She provided a lot of background and history of Birmingham which was really interesting and informative. We then went to Golden Corral and feasted on an amazing buffet. I tried fried okra for the first time and was quite impressed.

Monday morning we left Birmingham around 8:15am for Montgomery. Once there we took a tour of the State Capitol building and the Confederate White House. After lunch we went to the Civil Rights Memorial Center and given the opportunity to sign the Wall of Tolerance, making a pledge to stand up against injustice and inequality. We then travelled to the Rosa Parks Museum and Library and were able to see a really cool video/hologram enactment of what exactly happened to Rosa Parks on the bus. Next the student coordinators took us on a walking tour of Montgomery and we were able to see the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and other landmark areas in downtown. It was a beautiful day and felt great to be outside!

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