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The March Continues-Montgomery Alabama Civil Rights Trail

Civil Rights Trail

Civil Rights Trail

Welcome to Montgomery, The Capital of Dreams, where yesterday’s lessons combined with today’s progress and our plans for tomorrow continue to inspire dreams and make them realities.”

Source and Link: http://dreammarcheson.com

This month marks the 50th anniversary of “ Bloody Sunday ” and the 4 day monumental 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery. I have been so lucky to take in some of the added activities, events and exhibits that highlight the civil rights movement.

New murals and art work grace the downtown area.

New murals and art work grace the downtown area.

During the month of March, there is a special one-hour trolley tour that highlights the civil rights movement, including a trip to the City of St. Jude along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.  A new feature added for those doing self-tours by walking or driving, is the rental of an Mp3 player.  Through guided tracts, you follow the key civil rights trail.  This was put together by Alabama Public Television and features voices of folks who were pivotal in this movement. Kudos APT!

Nice ride-great tour!

Nice ride-great tour!

I have to confess that I have been on this tour maybe 10 times. This tour I learned that during the 4-day 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, there were stops along the way to spend the night.  The last stop was on the 34 acre Catholic campus of The City of St. Jude Campus.

I thought this was an actual city.

I thought this was an actual city.

According to the website of St. Jude’s, the mission has always been to address human rights since it’s founding in 1934.  Hosting the marchers who were fighting for voting rights and equality seemed like the right thing to do.  However, it was even more important as this welcome uplifted the tired people and gave a place for celebrities such as Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Nina Simone and Peter Paul and Mary to perform — this became known as  “Stars To Freedom Rally.”  The following morning, the crowd gathered without incident in front of the Alabama State Capitol. By this time the marchers grew to 25,000 strong. To note, not long after, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.  I thought this part of the story was really interesting.

Rosa rocks!

Rosa rocks!

Rosa Parks Library

Rosa Parks Library

Rosa L. Parks Museum. On December 1, 1955, seamstress Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white man on the bus.   Her arrest lit a fire that began the 381 day Montgomery Bus boycott. The Supreme Court declared segregation on public transportation illegal.

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Thanks Rosa Parks

Sadly, this did not end stupidity,  and on May 2,1961 twenty one young folks stepped off a Greyhound bus to a waiting crowd of non awakened people, and were viciously attacked. You can visit this museum to learn the story. If you are on the walking tour and decide not to enter, the exterior has great pictorials and quotes from peaceful folks like Gandhi.

Court House Square Fountain is a beautiful artesian spring with an ugly past. Land, livestock and slaves were auctioned from this point.

Ugly

Ugly

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church is where Dr. Martin Luther King began his Ministerial and Civil Rights leadership. It is a functioning congregation and tours are also held in this house of worship.

“On The National Historic Landmark”

“On The National Historic Landmark”

Martin Luther King lived here. Old enough to remember this place in the news? Or, if you went to school that studied American history, you will know this sight.

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“Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters and Righteousness Like A Mighty Stream” -Martin Luther King  The Civil Rights Museum and Southern Poverty Law Center is my favorite place in Montgomery.  It is peaceful and moving.

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Created by the artist that made The Vietnam Wall Memorial

Created by the artist that made The Vietnam Wall Memorial

This man was one of the original organizers of the march.  Many visitors are returning to Selma and Montgomery.  Great meeting these folks.  Inspiring!

The time line of the movement that spirals clockwise.  Water flows over the names of those who gave their lives.  I love this!

MEGASTARS ***** I give this stop 5 stars.  I wish every person in our country could visit and take in some of these experiences.

MEGATIPS

  1. Check out other photos on my Instagram at kickingthebucketlistwithmeg https://instagram.com/kickingthebucketlistwithmeg/
  2.  Start at The Convention and Visitors Bureau
  3. Do not miss the fountain outside of the Civil Rights Museum
  4. Tour The Civil Rights Museum and sign the wall of tolerance
  5. The trolley tour is really great!
  6. Absolutely eat at some of this area’s fun restaurants.
  7. Practice unity and peace, remember we are ONE people

“Sauntering Selma” Selma, Alabama

A monumental historical event is about to occur in Selma, Alabama. Selma is all the rage right now, Oprah does a movie and the world notices. One day, a few years back, luck took me to Selma and I had a few short hours to experience Selma.  Hate, courage, fear, triumph and hope. 

 This March, 2015 marks the 50th year anniversary of another time when Selma, Alabama was in the national spotlight.  Mass demonstrations were held for the purpose of voting rights for African-Americans.  A march from Selma to the Alabama capital, Montgomery on March,21,1965 was led by Dr. Martin Luther King.  The events which took place during this time led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  

Check out the history and stories behind the culmination of events. Visit, saunter and change. 

-"Trouble with you is the trouble with me   Got two good eyes but we just don't see" Jerry-“Trouble with you is the trouble with meGot two good eyes but we just don’t see” Jerry Garcia

Selma's song is both ugly and beautiful.

Selma’s song is both ugly and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The name Selma, means a throne or high seat. Taken from a collections of 13th century poems “The songs of Selma.”   On the banks of the Alabama River and located next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, this park is a great spot to begin this tour.  

For my non USA history friends or if you are an alien living in the U.S. A brief description of the significance of Selma.

Plaque on Edmund Pettus Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

Before the historic March 21,1965 march led by Martin Luther King and on a sunny Sunday afternoon, 600 marchers, walked over the arch of the Edmund Pettus Bridge who were singing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”  They were met by Alabama State Troopers and a Sheriff with his posse on horseback. They were given two minutes to return to their homes or church.  When they did not move, the troopers hit the marchers with nightclubs, whips, rubber tubes, kicking those who went down and then to add more horror to the scene, the posse rode full on into the crowd.  To mention, they were wearing gas masks and hit the crowd with a wave of teargas.   A news crew happened to be on the scene, and these images were shown in homes across the country. Outrage ensued. This was a huge and pivotal moment in the voting rights movement and  called “Bloody Sunday.”

For my USA friends who are non alien beings, most of us have seen photos.  Great place to stand and think.

For my USA friends who are non alien beings, most of us have seen photos. Great place to stand and think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday March 9th, 2000 “Turnaround Tuesday,”  peaceful marchers marched over the bridge where the previous Sunday’s blood was shed. Leaders knelt down to pray and turned around. Later that evening, one of the leader’s  named Rev. James Reeb was killed by an attack on a Selma street. There is a park near the Voting Rights Museum that commemorates Rev. Reeb and others who died in this quest for basic rights under the 15th Amendment.     After Turnaround Tuesday, the injunction against the marchers  right to protest was lifted, leading the way for the historical march on March 21.  4000 people left Selma for the 54 mile march to Montgomery.  

"Martyrs of the March"

 

Other things to see in Selma include; historical neighborhoods, architecture and more.   

 Jesse James slept here.

Jesse James slept here.

 

 

 

 

Historical significant buildings. This is the only existing example of a river hotel left in the State of Alabama.

 

Architecture and shops

Architecture and shops

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art and Museums

Art and Museums

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Neighborhoods

 

Live Oak Cemetery is on The National Register of Historic Sights.  Bucket list in a bucket list!  My pick for a must see.

"Quintessentially Southern Cemetery" PJ

“Quintessentially Southern Cemetery” PJ

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the earth comes a child

Out of the earth comes a child


Eternal Sit

Eternal Sit

 

Caretaker cottage

WTH? Missing the bust

WTH? Missing the bust

WTH?  Is it on someone's mantle?

WTH? Is it on someone’s mantle?

 In 1865, one of the last Civil War battles was fought in Selma.  One of my friends recently summed up her take on the cemetery as “A Quintessentially Southern Cemetery.”   Suffragettes, artists, soldiers and leaders.  This place has it all. 

I like to goof off. I like to make fun of things and have to admit that this subject has given me pause and a writer’s block.  Just today, the injunction against the back and forth struggle in Alabama for same sex marriage was lifted. There is absolutely nothing funny about human inequality and the continued inability to play in the same sandbox. I have my one usual word; ONE. The end.  I give this place 5 megastars *****

I have a thing for graves and took lots of pics. Check out my Instagram for more photos at; kickingthebucketlistwithmeg

Megatips- If you can get to Selma-Do it!

  1. Check out Lemon Pie at Downtowner and New York Strip at Tally-Ho. Both places are on the list of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. I was not playing this game when I visited and can’t wait to try.
  2. Do NOT miss the cemetery. *****
  3. Make sure to make your first stop at The Visitors Center on Selma Avenue. The Park Contact Station at 816 Selma Avenue can help guide you and answer questions. Great walking maps and informational pamphlets.
  4. Good to know; If you are a poet, the 13th century poet who wrote Songs of Selma is called Ossian.
  5. Many upcoming activities are planned including a visit by President Obama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery.  http://www.nps.gov/semo/planyourvisit/calendar.htm
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