Tuesday, February 27, 2007

See you later Georgia-- Hello Alabama!

"Blocks" a quilt made by Anna Mae Young, part of the Quilters' Collective in Gees Bend

Dear Reader, what a whirlwind of the last several days! As you can see by the calender and the map, I'm in Alabama-- just north of Selma. (There will be lots to read about Selma in the next few posts!)

The last time I wrote to you I was in Macon, Georgia. After writing I hung out in Macon a little bit longer and then biked to Warner Robins where I met up with my friend Becky. Becky is very good friend of mine from Philadelphia who came all the way down to meet me partway through my trip and hang out in the South for a few days.

We didn't waste anytime, that's for sure. Another friend of Becky's was in town--Steph-- for a folk music show that we got to see that night. The next morning after breakfast with the band, Becky and I went in the car with the bike, all the panniers and Bear heading west. First we stopped back in Plains-- I wanted to show Becky the National Historic Site. After catching up with my new friends there, we kept on west and got to Tuskegee. We wanted to start out the day on Monday checking out the Tuskegee National Historic Site. It is home to the Tuskegee University-- an all-African American college started by Booker T. Washington. George Washington Carver was a teacher at the school.

Monday morning we went to the site and we learned so much about those two men. I was pretty blown away by all of the discoveries that George Washington Carver made in his day. Let me just tell you-- he deserves credit for a WHOLE lot more than peanut butter. As a scientist his made so many discoveries that were helpful to farmers. Read for yourself in the links.

Becky and I were very surprised that we found nothing in the Carver museum on the campus of Tuskegee about the clinical trials that have been in the news. For years in the 1930's through the 1960's the US government preformed trials on African American men with a disease called syphilis. The men-- most of whom did not know how to read or write, were told that they were getting help for their disease. That was a lie, and the government has finally apologized.

Becky and I drove on from the Tuskegee Institute to Boykin, Alabama. Boykin is home to the quilting collective of women called The Qulilts of Gees Bend. Ms. Mary Ann Pettaway, one of the quilters, showed us around the quilter's warehouse. Many of the quilts are now on display at museums elsewhere. In fact the quilts will be coming to Tacoma this fall! The quilting collective has been active since the final days of slavery. Generations of women in the Pettaway family have taken part. It was SO fantastic.

Becky and I spent the night in Camden last night which is across the river from Boykin. Becky drove off this morning and she's headed back up to Philadelphia. Thanks for visiting, Beck!!

I'll be writing lots about Selma and Montgomery in the next few days. I'll be in this area-- Selma and Montgomery until Sunday as my mom and dad are coming down from Maryland to explore the area with me. We'll all be here for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. More on that later too! Mom and Dad won't be biking-- they'll have a car-- just like Becky.

Tomorrow I get to go to J.E. Terry Elementary Schoolin Plantersville, Alabama and spend the afternoon with Ms. Chance's fourth graders there. I'm really looking forward to it and can't wait to tell you all about it.

I'll be responding to posts tomorrow. Cheers, Dear Reader!!

10 comments:

Ms. Chance's 4th grade class said...

Thanks for coming to visit us, Ms. V.

Anonymous said...

Hi ms.ventura how are you is it exciting there because its not here

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

HELLO MS.VENTURA HOW ARE YOU ARE YOU GOOD

Anonymous said...

helLO

Anonymous said...

helLO

Anonymous said...

HELLO HORW ARE YOU IM AN ALIAN FROM JUPITER I GOT SOME ONE TRANSLAT FOR ME CALL ME

Anonymous said...

we did a report on MLK

carlos said...

where are you right now

Anonymous said...

HI MS.VENTURA I HOPE YOU COME SOON TO CONCORD PLEASE