Monday, January 9, 2012

This trip has already been a life-changing experience, and
it’s only been a few days. I’m in the Social Justice LLC, so this trip goes
along wonderfully with all the things we have discussed in the class. We have
sat through the church service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, went through the MLK
Historical Site, saw the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, listened to
speakers, etc. Yesterday we went through the Kelly Ingram Park. It was a very
weird feeling. It was so peaceful and pretty, but I stood there thinking about
the things that happen in the park years ago. Police let dogs after the protesters
and firefighters sprayed them with hoses. It’s awful what authorities did, but
it’s such a unique experience to be in the exact location where all those people
were standing up for the rights of human beings. Today, we toured Montgomery
and we got to the location of the center of the town. It was a very pretty area
with a beautiful fountain and these nice buildings surrounding it. The
wonderful tour guide went on to say how that same center of the town, years
ago, was the location where slaves were auctioned off. That just hit me. We
were standing in the exact spot where slaves were completely humiliated and
stripped down of rights to be auctioned off, and here we are just walking around
the city as a tourist. I guess that shows just how privileged we are, but it’s
so sad to think of the horrible things that went on in the exact spot I was
standing. Slavery was a terrible, terrible thing, along with the racism that
existed and still exists today after slavery is gone. But this trip is such
wonderful experience and I enjoy learning so much about the Civil Rights Movement. It
really helps bring things to life for me. I’m looking forward to the rest of
the trip, I’m sure it will only get better!

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