Monday, January 7, 2013
Day 2- Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL
Today we saw a lot of incredible things. The part that had the most impact on me today was the church service at Ebenezer Baptist. Talking about pushing the reset button really hit home not only on many personal levels for me in my life, but also in regards to what we have been talking about throughout the trip and in the class. None of us are perfect in any sense of the word. We all have flaws and things that we need to improve on. Reverend Warnock emphasized the importance of first realizing that you yourself are not perfect. You first have to admit that there are things about you that are not good or need improving. This is very true when I look at myself in regards to racism. There are still assumptions that I make about certain groups of people just because of where they are from or what they look like and that’s something that I really need to work hard at. As Reverend Warnock said, just because you identify your own problems doesn’t make it certain that these things will just magically change on their own. You have to work, and work hard, to ensure that these aspects of your life can change.
The Civil Rights Institute today also really made me think about certain things. As we walked through, as we talked about in class, there were many women present in the photographs in the museum but it was very rare to see a woman with an article or exhibit based on her. This is the epitome of sexism. Women were so very important to this movement yet the men get the credit for all of their hard work. Now this is not to say that the men didn’t work hard as well, because they did, but the women worked just as hard and get almost none of the credit. Women were the reason the Montgomery Bus Boycott was able to happen, yet the only woman that you hear about in regards to that specific event is Rosa Parks. This lack of female representation in the movement not only degrades the women who were involved so deeply and whole heartedly in the movement, but also the young girls and women of today’s society. Today’s females begin to internalize the fact that women aren’t supposed to be put in the spotlight and that causes them to have less confidence in themselves and their potential. In a weird way, this lack of female representation also affects males in today’s society. They see that there are very few females that are talked about or recognized in the history books and they begin to believe that men are the only people that can be in positions of power and internalize that notion and, although maybe unknowingly, begin to oppress women.
Today made me begin to realize things about myself that I need to start to work on a little bit more. Montgomery tomorrow, bring it on!