3/18: Our first day in D.C. was partly spent on the Capitol Building tour. Previous to the tour, I was doubting if they would present American history accurately-- that is, inclusive of the attributions of African Americans. To my surprise, African Americans were mentioned in a video, so that was surprisingly satisfying. The tour guide also discussed the contributions of enslaved peoples to the history of America and even the building of the Capitol. I still maintain that Black history is watered down and eradicated from much of history, but I wasn’t expecting for us to be mentioned at all at a government building. After this, we visited the MLK memorial. I loved the area because I’m a huge fan of his quotes, so to see them lifesize enscripted on a long wall was very touching. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for discussion where I got to meet and speak with fellow students I hadn’t met previous to this trip.
Overall, the first full day of this pilgrimage was enlightening and fun. I look forward to the rest of the trip! Xo- Jameelah
3/19: Today was finally the day I got to visit the museum I have been dreaming about for the longest! The Smithsonian. However, before that, we visited Frederick Douglass’ home. I didn’t have much background knowledge on him, so to leave his home learning that he had been enslaved, turned abolitionist and civil and women’s right activist. I also thought it was really interesting that he had political power and his home was representative of that: Overlooking the “city” of DC. It was fun to see how people lived in the 1800s.
Now on to Smithsonian. I was super excited to visit this place. Honestly, it’s so much information and exhibits there, that I didn’t have enough time to truly soak all of the information. But of the many things there, my favorites would include the Emmett Till exhibit. I did a history project on him in 5th grade and now I’m a freshman in college, so each year I feel like I learn something new about him and his impact and gain a fresher perspective. I also enjoyed the women’s section because it’s important to highlight and honor the women who did daily groundwork in the Civil Rights Movement. Although everything was amazing, I loved the cultural aspects of the museum as well. Like the focus on Black music, Black athletes and Black fashion.
To end, this day was filled with a lot of information, emotions and sensory overload (in a good way). This was such an amazing day.
3/20: The International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro was very educating! I did not know much about the Greensboro 4, like how their act to desegregate lunch counters catapulted the movement down South or like how they planned the whole thing in their college dorm. I’m feeling motivated! Xo. PS. I think I collect hats now >.<
3/21: We were in Atlanta and visited the MLK center! I was very excited for this because it was actually my 2nd time visiting since 2014. I thought it we be great to be there again because I felt that I would have a different experience since I was more interested in the topic, older and more knowledgeable. And guess what? I was right! I even saw a part of the MLK center that I hadn’t seen previously. I learned more about Dr. King’s death and funeral, like how he was carried in a wooden wagon to represent the work he had done within the poor people’s movement. I also learned more about Coretta Scott King, who was an activist and leader in her own right, even after the death of her husband. This shows her strength. Like 4 days after the assassination of Dr. King she lead the worker’s March in Montgomery. This just reiterated to me the resilience of women. Go ladies!! Wooooo! xo.
3/22: Today we were in Tuskegee, where we learned more about the Tuskegee Airmen. I liked learning more about the civilians and non-pilots who were just as influential to the wars as the pilots were. I loved visiting Tuskegee University because it’s such a historical site with a rich history, like Booker T. Washington being the first principal of the school. Looking forward to tomorrow! xo.
3/23: The most impactful moment during today’s adventure was the conversation we had with Dr. Cherry at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. She was very charismatic, energetic and wise. From the time she began speaking during her introduction until the end of her tour, everything said mesmerized me. The entire time I was holding back my tears because I was internalizing every word said. A few of the things that stood out to me were her telling us to take full advantage of our education for upward social mobility, and her telling us to keep characteristics like love and character in our minds. I loved her advice about having standards when it comes down to picking a spouse. She said that we need to have someone who will take a stance for something. That’s really important to me because my interests include things that I feel I need to take a more radical stance on. I loved that she gave us the definition of love via Howard Thurman. You know love when you can be vulnerable around someone, but secure in your trust that they’ll protect your back.
All in all, these were just a few of the things that touched me, but I enjoyed every bit of it! Xo- Jameelah M.