Tuesday, January 10, 2012

16th Street Baptist Church

Before we made our journey from Birmingham to Montgomery, we stopped at the 16th Street Baptist Church to receive a tour of the building and to understand the history of this special place. This place touched me in very indescribable ways.

It was very eerie for me to enter the church because I knew that four little girls died during the bombing of the church in the 60s. The thing that was very inspiring was the two stain glass windows that each had a striking image and an amazing story behind each of them.

There was one stain glass window that had a picture of Jesus and during the bombings, only the face of Christ was destroyed but no other part of the window was damaged. It symbolized that even though the vision of the civil rights movement may try to be stopped, the body is strong to uphold the vision of the movement. This was so impactful to me because it was truly a miracle and a symbol at the same time that this occurred. Although evil may disrupt, love will always overcome.

The other piece of stain glass art was put in after the rebuilding of the church and it was an african american man in representation to Jesus Christ for all of the hardships Jesus faced as well as the African American person has endured. On the right hand (depending on how you look at it) the hand was pushing away oppression while the left hand was facing you symbolizing forgiveness. It seems that these are the principal ideas of the movement: to defeat oppression, forgive those that are violent and treat them with love and respect.

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