Sunday, December 21, 2014

Selma and Montgomery, Alabama November 17 and 18

Since we got a bit of a late start out of Birmingham, we didn't get to Selma till almost sunset.  We just had time to see the Edmund Pettus Bridge and walk around town for a few minutes before we had to head down the road to Montgomery. 

The infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge, where local and state police beat and tear gassed peaceful activists attempting to march to Montgomery.  March 7, 1965 became forever known as "Bloody Sunday" as the coverage went around the world.

The Alabama River
We then drove to Montgomery following the same route as the marchers, passing a few markers where they spent the night along the way.   The next morning we got up to a full day of history.  First stop, the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. We could not take photos inside but it was a very interesting interactive tour.

The Museum stands on the very spot where Rosa Parks was escorted from the bus and arrested.  Troy University had purchased the building(s) on this corner and was originally going to put in a parking garage. After researching the historical significance of the site, the university made the decision to develop the museum instead.
 Dexter Avenue Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached and where many meetings were held during the Civil Rights Movement.

 The Mississippi State Capital
 Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy

 Memorial marker for the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March

I did not know about the Capital City Guards.

 The Civil Rights Memorial and Southern Poverty Law Center

Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, also designed this memorial, which lists the names of all those killed working for civil rights in the 1960s.
Greyhound bus station and Freedom Rider Museum.  I really wanted to see this museum but it was closed the day we were there--disappointing!  I took this photo through the glass door and one of the murals outside.

Our Civil Rights Tour came to an end in Montgomery.  I could not help but reflect on the current times and the parallels between the unrest of the 1960s and today, with protests ongoing about the killings of unarmed black men by the police, the "cradle to prison pipeline" and the inequities still experienced by people of color in our communities.  I continue to hope for the day that true equality is realized.

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