Today, we arrived in Birmingham quite early. It was not too far away from Selma. We actually arrived at 10:45 am and the hotel was nice enough to check us in to all 3 rooms right then and there! We have been quite fortunate with these hotels. We got to sit in our rooms, eat lunch and relax for a long while before heading out again on our journey.
Our first stop was the 16th Street Baptist Church where the bomb was set off in the basement and the 4 little girls were killed: Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, and Carole Robertson. Tynae had been researching this as her topic and helped us learn about them last night and before the trip began. We could not enter the church because it was closed, but we made our way to th e Civil Rights Institute.
Kelahni, Sharonda and Ms. Clarke at the 16th St. Baptist Church
Ms. Villaluz and Tynae
This is where we spent most of the tour. It was a museum dedicated to the entire Movement and had many pictures and artifacts from that time. We saw amazing pictures of Dr. King speaking at the Montgomery Capitol Building, shocking images of bloody Sunday, we learned about human rights and fighting for justice for all peoples around the world. There were inspirational quotes that made us realize even more that love drives out hate:
"We will accept the violence and hate, absorbing it without returning it." ~James Lawson, Civil Rights activist
After the museum, we went across the street to Kelly Ingram Park. Starlette was very excited about this park ;o). We walked through the park first stopping at a sculpture that depicted children behind bars. This was a reference to the Children's Crusade... the marches put on by children in which even they were attacked with dogs and sprayed with fire hoses and imprisoned. Even at very young ages, they fought for the equal rights of people.
Starlette shows excitement for the park statue of child during the attacks
statue of kneeling preachers "I ain't afraid of your jail"
"Segregation is a sin" - uspide-down replica of 'i ain't afraid of your jail'
As we walked further, we ran into older men in the park who actually lived through these times that we study about. One spoke of his first hand experience of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. He spoke of how young he was and how his siter was friends with one of the 4 little girls that died. Another told us about his involvement with the Movement as a young boy and even pointed out to us the different buldings around the park and how some were even in it's original form that you could still see which stairways the black people had to use and the stairways the white people used. The encounters with these people made the Civil Rights Movement so much more real. We left Kelly Ingram Park with many thoughts and questions about people who lived through the Movement.
We then went to dinner and ate at Ruby Tuesday. What a wonderful meal! Then we got a treat! Ice cream!
came home for the night and snacked a bit
Walk through the pages of Starlette:
"At the 16th St. Baptist Church, I felt like I was there during the bomb! I really didn't learn anything because I couldn't concentrate and because I didn't feel comfortable. I was afraid someone was gonna try to bomb it again.
When we were at the Civil Rights Institute, I saw a lot of pictures and pintings! I learned that all of the leaders were very important because they were remembered by paintings.
While we were at Kelly Ingram Park I saw 3 people from the Young Crusade March! 1 man named Juan explained everything! He even know 2 of the four little girls, Denise and Carol! He said one of them taught him! I asked him if he was proud of what he did while he was 16 years old! He said yes that's why I'm still out here today talking to people! His story and words were so strong that they made Ms. Davio tear up a little bit! I learned that many people from the 60's are still alive today! Also you should always be genorous to people because you never know who you come across!"
Walk through the pages of Kelahni:
"Today we was in Birmingham and we went to the Civil Rights Institute and watched a movie in the threatened then took a tour around the museum. I learned that utopian means equal. This is important because people are getting more respect now. Back in the day it shouldn't have been so violent. That made me feel so angry. It make me want to act equal and proud of my color in my life."