The Civil Rights Trail: Take a Walk Through History in Montgomery, Alabama by Sheri B Doyle
I am not sure what I expected before I arrived in Montgomery, Alabama, to walk the Civil Rights Trail, but I don’t think it was the level of motivation, admiration and awe I left with.
My visit started at the Rosa Parks Museum where we learned about what was happening before Rosa Parks ignited the movement, and people who were pivotal to the movement before and after her arrest. After a short movie we moved into a room complete with a bus. It recreated the event as if we were present at the actual moment. We continued through the museum where we learned what happened for the next 13 months of the Bus Protest. I was so moved by the determination of the people, their dedication to non-violent protest and their organized solutions to survive the boycott.
After leaving the museum we walked to the bus stop where Rosa Parks refused to get out of her seat, made our way to the State Capitol building and Dexter Avenue Church where the Bus Protest was organized. The city was eerily quiet, with many of the buildings completely empty. While it seemed a bit strange it also made the walk seem more real – we weren’t distracted by modern-day businesses or busy traffic. Instead, we were able to focus on what happened and try to relive moments.
We passed the first Confederate White House before making our way to Martin Luther King Jr.’s house. Standing in front of the humble home, I was mesmerized. I imagined his life there, his walks to the church and the fear his family must have felt as their home was bombed. Somehow the magnitude of the movement hit me as I stood in front of the home where he and his family lived for several years.
Our last stop was the Civil Rights Memorial. It was in this humble building where all of my emotions overcame me. As I stood in the building looking at the faces of the innocent people who were killed then and now because of intolerance, my heart broke over and over again. We have come so far but still have so far to go. It was easy to take the pledge at the end of the museum to always promote equality in this world.
At the end of the day as we sipped coffee in the space where Rosa Parks worked, her words rang through my head: "The only tired I was, was tired of giving in."
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