Today we were in Atlanta, Georgia, and visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, which is located in King's hometown. We first went to the museum part of it, which I thought was interesting but relatively small. I liked the timeline they had displayed of the significant events in King's life. With all the information that has been thrown at us within the past couple days, it was nice to see the information in an organized display in order to absorb it easier.
We got to see Dr. and Mrs. King's tomb which sat in the middle of a fountain. I thought the flame across from the tomb was a nice symbol representing the constant effort towards a better life for all. It was an unexplained feeling being in his hometown, in front of his actual tomb. You can feel his presence almost, especially in the Ebenezer Baptist Church. In this church, there weren't many artifacts or museum cases, but in the church there was a recording of King speaking. There were photos of him surrounding the entrance, and as we sat in the pews in silence, listening to the recording, I felt as if I were actually in the same room as him.
My favorite museum that we have attended so far, though, and the one that had the most impact was the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. I loved the massive amount of information they gave not only on segregation and MLK, but about human rights in general. I started off in the human rights section, which was definitely an eye opener. To see that many people around the world not only had suffered in the past, but still continue to suffer today really makes you realize the true evil that exists in this world. I am grateful for the life I live today, but I also feel extremely guilty.
The civil rights section was on the first floor, which I thought was just as great, if not better than the International Civil Rights Museum. Most of the displays were interactive, which I thought made it easier to take in information. The "test" to see how long you can last in a simulation of a sit-in really made me realize how terrible people were when it came to segregation. I thought the room dedicated to King's death was interesting. I watched the video of the reaction to the news of his death and his funeral. The streets were filled with his supporters mourning his death. I couldn't imagine the sadness they felt that day and still do. I wonder what would be different if he had lived a longer life.