Day 3- Albany, GA and Montgomery, AL

June 13th, 2017


Today started in Georgia, and we went to the Charles Sherrod Civil Rights Park. This was beautiful and gave some facts of the history of Albany in the Civil Rights Movement. It is easy to tell that Albany is open and readily talking about their history in this movement. My favorite part was the tiles, and some of them say donor’s names, but one said “God is on Our Side,” and another said, “Let Freedom Ring!” How beautiful are those sentiments? God is on the side of those fighting for liberation. That is just the God we serve and that was a great reminder for me. the fight for justice is not something that is anti-Christian, in fact, it is one of the most Christian things we can do.
Following this, we went to a museum where we were able to meet Ms. Rutha Harris. Rutha Harris was one of the original Freedom Singers, and to hear the songs of this movement from people who were directly involved was inspiring and moved me to tears. I was able to sing with Ms. Rutha, and that was such a great opportunity, but of course, I was nervous! This woman has pipes! Her voice filled the entire room, and I got to sit next to her on stage and sing. The integration of this protest movement along with the Spiritual oral tradition was beautiful to hear and be a part of. Everyone in the town knew Ms. Rutha, and she was so humble, and truly had a beautiful spirit. The songs would beg Pritchett and Kelly to open the cells because God’s children are praying and crying in their cells. As I write this, I am listening to Ms. Rutha’s CD and these songs are extremely powerful.

After this visit, we went to eat lunch and then headed to Montgomery! Unfortunately, it was raining in Montgomery so we couldn’t stop at a lot of the places we had hoped to. We stopped at Holt Street Baptist Church which was so amazing because history was made there. This is where discussion happened about the Montgomery bus boycott. I felt honored just to be standing in a place where the plans were made for a boycott that would show the power of black people and also change our lives forever.
We then were able to go back to the hotel and had dinner made by Sophia. This was the food that you would expect in the South. There was fried chicken, cornbread, meatloaf, watermelon, yams and more. This was truly a treat!
I have found it interesting that all of these cities are so eager to talk about their part in the Civil Rights Movement, but what that really means what that there was a lot courageous black people, but also the most blatant racism in these areas. While one of these things is worth celebrating and is still true today, I fear the other still lingers on as well.

A valuable part of this trip has been the conversations that I have had with faculty and students on the bus, at meals, and in the hotel. I am really gaining a lot from that and look forward to that continuing through the rest of the week!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply




Speak your mind