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Archive for July, 2010

Selma

I really didn’t want to write this post. Which I guess is pretty obvious considering that the Montgomery to Selma posts started in April and it’s now July. I’ve just been avoiding it  because I haven’t been able to figure out what I want to say, and I’m pretty sure I won’t say whatever it is well.

Selma really made me sad. I felt like we were going backwards on the Civil Rights Trail.  Here, where so much began, it almost felt like it never happened. The economic disparity between the black and white sections of town was like a line drawn in the sand.  Race relations were the most uncomfortable we’d experienced.  It was the first time we’d felt uncomfortable in our travels, and targeted and unwelcome as white people.  I should clarify that this was only in the poorer, black neighborhoods, where we had hoped to see some of the churches where the civil rights marchers gathered back in the 60’s.  It made me sad because it stood in such stark contrast to the unity between blacks and whites pursuing voting rights for black Americans back then – all the hope that was born, the good that was done. I tried to imagine how Martin Luther King’s would feel, seeing the dream floundering in Selma now. The lives of so many people do not seem to have improved.

We’d listened to excerpts of some of his most famous speeches on the drive from Montgomery to Selma.  He was so magnificent and aimed so high.  It was awesome to walk across the Edmund Pettrus bridge in the footsteps of those brave men and women, and the National Voting Rights Museum at the foot of the bridge was equally powerful.

I hate to do it, but I’m just going to end this post with a platitude so I don’t blather on.  We’ve come a long way in this country and there’s still a long way to go.  In addition to pretty much summing up the Montgomery to Selma experience, it allows me to segue into the fact that I’m going to quit blogging about this Spring 2010 trip even though we continued on to Vicksburg, Jackson, etc.  Because we were home for several months, and are now heading off on a whole new trip.  There’s always a long way to go – and I never seem to catch up.

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