SCLC Women Civil Rights Heritage Tour
Georgia WAND UPDATES
Chisa Yarde, Directors’ Associate at National WAND went on the SCLC Women Civil Rights Heritage Tour (traveled around Alabama and stopped in Birmingham, Marion, Selma, Hayneville and Montgomery) over the weekend of March 6-7, 2010. Here are her words and photos:
Birmingham: This was our first stop on the tour. We visited Kelly Ingram Park where they have amazing sculptures dedicated to the civil rights movement. The park is across the street from the Civil Rights Institute and Sixteenth Baptist Church. This is the church where 4 little girls were killed in a bombing. I got to meet Ms. Barbara who attended Sixteenth Street Baptist as a little girl and was almost killed in the bombing. She told us about the day the bombing happened and how it affected their community.
Marion: We stopped at Mt. Tabor AME Zion Church to visit Coretta Scott King’s Monument. This was her church and the community she grew up in. I had no idea that she was originally Alabama. It was great to see her church and the house she lived in. We also visited the monuments dedicated to Albert Turner, James Orange and Jimmie Lee Jackson.
Hayneville: We stopped here to visit the Viola Luizzo Memorial. Viola Luizzo was a white civil rights activist who was tragically murdered. I got to meet her daughters Sally & Mary who joined us for the entire tour. It was wonderful to hear Sally & Mary talk about their mother and all the work that she did. We also visited the Lowndes County Interpretive Center to see the civil rights museum created by the National Parks.
Montgomery: We stopped in the State Capitol to visit the Rosa Parks memorial at Alabama State University. We also drove by the King-Dexter Church, which is the first church that Martin Luther King Jr. preached at. We also stopped at the Southern Poverty Law Center to learn about the work they do there. Outside of the Law Center there is an amazing water sculpture with the name of important figures from the civil rights movement.
Selma: We stopped in Selma on both days of the tour. Here we visited the monuments for James Reeb, Hosea Williams, John Lewis and saw the Freedom Wall of Selma. On Sunday we marched across the Edmond Pettus Bridge.
Overall I found the tour to be an enjoyable experience. I was honored to take the tour on the 45th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March in Selma. Initially I went into the trip thinking that I knew a lot about what happened in Alabama during the civil rights movement. After the first day I realized that there was so much I didn’t know! The great thing about the tour is that you are joined by living legends who are eager to tell you about their experiences. Marching across Edmund Pettus Bridge meant so much more to me after learning about the people who fought and died for civil rights in America. Thank you so much to Georgia WAND for sponsoring my attendance!