Sunday, January 22, 2012

At the Little Rock Nine statues, right next
to the state capitol in Arkansas
Stained Glass at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church-
donated by
the people of Wales in memory of the four little girls
that were killed when a
bomb went off in the church
On a bus tour of the 9th Ward in New Orleans.
Even though a lot of progress has been made,
there is still a lot to do!
          I honestly had no expectations before we left for  this trip. I figured it would be a cool way to see a part of the country I had never see before, probably be fun, and maybe learn a little bit. Well, looking back (only a week out, mind you) I think going on this trip was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. I not only learned a TON of new, interesting information, but met some sweet people and it reaffirmed what I want to do with my life. Going to the museums, hearing speakers, and touring cities was a solid mix of ways to learn about the Civil Rights movement. I think hearing from Joanne Bland and her sister was one of my favorite parts because they were such vivid storytellers. One could tell that they still had deep wounds from the time by the way they shared their stories. Joanne is coming here to campus on Thursday and I am very excited to hear her speak again.
      Two things I don't think I will ever forget from this trip are 1: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got a C+ in high school public speaking. What?! Yeah that one blew my mind a little bit. It's so ironic that one of the best speakers this world has produced earned an average grade in that subject. Just goes to show that grades aren't the most important thing in the world. And 2: When we were at Slave Haven (a stop on the Underground Railroad) our tour guide said that at night, the slave owners couldn't leave the fireplace going in fear of embers flying everywhere, so to keep themselves warm, they put slave children at the foot of the bed for warmth. I was absolutely baffled when I heard that. How could the owners do that? To children especially! I was discusted by it. Even though that is a horrible thing, I feel that I will never forget it.
With Charles Persons, one of the original Freedom Riders
Mural in Atlanta 
           We went to Little Rock as well and met with students from the Clinton School of Public Service. That is the only school in the country that offers a Masters in Public Service. It was really exciting for me because that grad school is totally something I am interested in. Since my major (Liberal Studies-Community Development) is unique, I didn't think there were too many places that offered higher education in that area. After chatting with Andrea & Stephen (two Clinton School students), I was super pumped because there are many people that have similar interests and passions as me.
          Overall, this trip was incredible. I feel so blessed at all the opportunities we were afforded. I definitely want to go again!

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