My Mom and Dad came down to Montgomery from Maryland on Thursday to visit all of the museums and monuments with me here and take part in the festivities of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee this weekend in Selma. The Jubilee commemorates
Bloody Sunday in 1965, and is chock full of events. Check out that link on Bloody Sunday because the pictures are striking and the explanation is better than any I could give. Bloody Sunday is a day that people in Selma and elsewhere are working hard for people to not forget. It was a tragic day in American history and set into motion the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Yesterday Mom, Dad, and I started the day by visiting Civil Rights Museum and Monument. The monument itself is incredible. Water rushes over the major events of the civil rights movement-- including the names of the martyrs of the movement. The museum teaches about each of the martyrs and also has a section that commemorates people that have been killed recently due to racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. I was deeply impressed by the monument and museum.
Next we got a tour of the Southern Poverty Law Center across the street. The SPLC has three missions: To give out free fantastic teaching materials to teachers called "Teaching Tolerance", two, they track hate groups in the United States, and three-- they defend people in court who are victims of hate crimes and intolerance. Great group, huh?
Montgomery is where the famous bus boycott took place, and yesterday Mom, Dad and I learned so much about what it took to plan that bus boycott and keep in going by visiting the Dexter Ave. King Memorial Baptist Church and the Rosa Parks Museum.
We saw so much yesterday and we were all so moved by what we learned. There is something about being here.... walking the streets of Montgomery... touching the names of the dead on the Civil Rights Monument... that teaches me so much more than any picture or film about the movement. I really wish that kids in Seattle could come over here for a field trip and visit all of these places with me. I hope that someday you guys do come here on your own. There is so much to learn.
Tonight I am going to a "Mock Trial" in Selma at the Dallas County Courthouse. It is one of the first events of the Jubilee. I look forward to telling you all about that in the next entry!
Lastly, I wanted to thank so many friends and family for checking up on me the last couple of days. Thanks to Malenna and Ray who gave me a ride on Thursday-- I'm safe and sound here in Montgomery. The tornado hit Enterprise which is south of where I am and what happened there is quite sad. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families there.