Monday, September 16, 2013

The Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2013

Hey! My name is Alex Horton, and I'm a junior this year at UIUC - although this is only my second year here. (Transfer student and proud!) I'm double majoring in African American Studies and Sociology. Last semester, I found out about the Civil Rights Pilgrimage at about the same time I was starting to plan for how I was going to spend my Spring Break, and it immediately interested me. Because, not only could I go on a trip across the American Southeast in order to learn about and see first-hand many of the monuments erected to this marvelous moment in American history, I would be able to listen to touching personal accounts from those who were on the front lines of this seminal struggle for justice. That's where the meat of this trip was, to me, and such experiences are priceless. All I had to do was pay a nominal fee of $275, plus food. For me, there was never a question of whether I would sign up. I jumped on this opportunity! I recommend anybody interested in American/African American history or social justice look into this trip.

The most poignant aspect of this trip for me was - without a doubt - visiting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Memorial Parsonage, which was his home while he was the reverend of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. One would think that visiting Dr. King's home would be monumental enough, but what really set it off was the woman curating this exhibit: Miss Cherry. Her unbridled passion evoked  powerful emotions from the group and really nailed how awesome a human being Dr. King was. I also enjoyed the garden in the back that serves as a place of reflection for those who were given the tour of the parsonage. That is when it hit me that this trip is an immense privilege, and I am extremely fortunate to have been a part of it.

I hope everyone who goes on it this year has a great trip. (I'll be planning it, so I'm confident you will be.) If you have any questions, feel free to contact me:

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