Below are my unedited journal entries during the Cilvil Rights Pilgrimage from 3/20 - 3/28:
We're on the bus heading to the south
I like the energy on this bus so far. We'll be on the civil rights pilgrimage for the next 9 days. In that time, I expect we'll all get much closer. I expect we'll all go through some amazing learning. I also expect we'll return as changed people.
It's interesting to think that I've begun journaling for the next year. It feels good to know I'm consistently doing something. I want to be consistent with my reading. That's something I need to work on in my life.
On this trip, aside from the learning, I want to work on my poetry and my photography. Finding good inspiration might be the key.
We're on our way to Atlanta. Today we spent the day in North Carolina. I had fun. I actually just fell asleep for a bit as I was writing that. I don't think I'm stressed, but I'm tired. I might try to nap on the bus. What we did today:
1. Ate breakfast at the hotel
2. Walked down elm street and took pictures
3. Went to two museums.
4. Ate again
I'm really digging the south though. I'm excited to keep learning!
We went to this awesome resturant. It was pretty chill. I ordered the four piece chicken, fried okra, and Mac n Cheese. Earlier we went to the CNN center. It was packed because the Atlanta Hawks were playing and there was a marathon today. The rain didn't really help either. Regardless, we went to the newly made civil rights museum. It was probably the coolest museum I've ever been to outside of the science and industry museum. I already feel so humbled, especially after this morning's church service. I felt something I have never felt before. Reverend Rice's sermon was honestly incredible. I want to get up, take up my mat, and walk. I'm ready.
Addition From Sermon:
John Ch. 5
"Do you really want to be made whole?"
"Get up, take up your mat, and walk"
We have to stop limiting who can get to God and how they get to God
Today was legendary
We met some amazing people today. We also visited some amazing museums. My favorite person to meet was the person January has been talking about since the trip started, Dr. Lafayette. He was honestly a great speaker. He made me feel like progress is possible with the proper training and the right amount of research. I'm glad I recorded his lecture. Besides Dr. Lafayette's talk, we also visited Tuskegee University. It was an honor to witness all the history that took part there. As usual (for the last few days) I got some good photos. I'm looking forward to posting my work, but I hope the process isn't too burdensome.
We're all getting closer and I can feel it
There are slight riffs with certain people in the group, but I think things will work themselves out. I'm truly blessed not only to be on this trip, but also to be on the trip with these people.
We had another discussion today. I think if was nice to get things cleared up. A little random, but I feel like I enjoy reading a lot more now. I'm able to get in the zone, and I think that's helping me gain focus. I'm excited for tomorrow because we'll head to Selma. Crossing that bridge will be amazing. Taking pictures will be amazing too, especially since I've figured out how to shoot in manual.
Alexis told me we'd be driving for five hours
I'm actually getting used to the traveling. It's soothing to know that there's so much diversity on this bus. That diversity leads to some heated arguments, though. Today we argued, possibly discussed, a lot of issues stemming from the slavery simulation. The discussion was interesting because it taught me about nonviolence. I normally thought it was something that pertained only to the physical, but I think that's just a part of it. I think a large part of nonviolence is mental and spiritual too. Hopefully I can live a better life by remembering that.
A quick rundown of today's events:
2. Second museum (slavery simulation)
3. Edmund Petus Bridge
Real emotion is easy to catch
I say that because of the way our tour guide, Ryan, felt today. He told us stories of the little rock 9  and how they triumphed over adversity. The other museums we visited today were also awesome. I'd say today may have been one of the most vibrant days of the trip; from the colors to the topics, today was diverse. Once again, I'm glad I bought my camera. I've been able to capture so much beauty.
She said I have a good artistic eye
We ate dinner today at an establishment where the service was horrible. We arrived first and, against our efforts, left last. Regardless, I ate with Lavontae, Jacob, and Natasha. Besides the food being good, my conversation with Natasha was good. She is the only African American honored in the college of ACES. She looked through my photos and gave me some great feedback. I feel honored.
We visited the national civil rights museum today. I know I keep saying this, but it may have been the best ones yet. I'm glad I have pictures because I don't know how I'd reflect upon the moments adequately without them. It's such an honor to be on this trip.
Ernest C. Withers
I've said that this trip was amazing over and over again, but today can say that definitively. This trip has been incredible, and each new place added to that feeling. Along with the museums and such, the people I ate with were also amazing. The people I bonded with helped me have so much fun. I hope I see them around campus. I hope they say hi haha. Anyway, today was great. We went to two music museums, a photo gallery, and some miscellaneous places. By misc. places, I mean the bar where we got the best special ice cream smoothie beverages ever. I also mean the archives of Dr. Withers. Woo! Thank God for this trip.