Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Today's events - Montgomery, AL

Today was another jam-packed day on our trip. We visited the Alabama state capitol where we saw the old state House and Senate chambers and intricate painting inside that was rare for the time it was painted. Our tour guide was great and told us that he was a part of the March coming from Selma and was one of the narrators for the film! It was very interesting to meet him and have him share his story with us. 

The rotunda at the Capitol. 

The outside of the building. 

Next, we visited the Southern Poverty Law Center where most of the people I talked with after were shocked by. The stories of the people involved in the movement who were killed for no legitimate reason were hard to hear and see. They showed me the sacrifices people made in the movement and how some went unrecognized and misrecognized for their actions. This was also the location of the Civil Rights Monument designed by the same woman who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C..

The next museum was the Freedom Rides Museum housed in the original Greyhound station where the activities of the Freedom Rides took place. We were taken by surprise when we met Mr. Bruce Boynton who was one of the first people to successfully bring and win a case involving segregation of interstate bus transport in America. It was great to hear and learn from such an important figure so unexpectedly as well! I really enjoyed this museum a lot because the two ladies who worked there were very knowledgeable on the subject and educated us well on the history surrounding the Freedom Rides. Although it was tiny, it was packed with history. 

Mr. Bruce Boynton

The final stop of the day was visiting Martin Luther King Jr.'s Parsonage for the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. It was very interesting to see Dr. King's roots in Montgomery where he started his work in the Civil Rights Movement. His house, provided by the church, was quaint and nice. I enjoyed the fact that many of the original pieces were there and that it was refurbished to the time Dr. King and his wife lived there.

The day ended with a wonderful discussion with my group. Although it can get lengthy, we talk about interesting things and I really enjoy that. I'm looking forward to Selma tomorrow and seeing where much of the history of the Voting Rights struggle occurred. 

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