Posted by: justnaturallyme | September 15, 2009

A Travel Writer’s Life

Bust of  Rosa Parks at musuem

Bust of Rosa Parks at musuem

Seems like just yesterday I was starting my blog on Travel Media Showcase in Kansas City.  Last week I was just leaving Montgomery, Alabama after another wonderful hectic Travel Media Showcase. We met  with lots of convention and Visitors reps, some new people and lots of old friends.

Each year we do a fam tour and this year I chose the Civil Rights Tour. We visited the Rosa Parks Museum. Incredible museum about an incredible lady! You enter and see memorabilia and then a film leading you to Rosa’a courageous act of defiance. At that point the film stops:doors open to a scene of a bus stop and becoming more crowded. You are viewing as if standing on the sidewalk looking through the bus windows.

As the bus fills with people, The driver gruffly orders Rosa to vacate her seat so a white man standing in the aisle can sit down. Rosa refuses. She is tired. Tired after a hard work as a seamstress at Montgomery Fair department store where worked. She was tired also of being treated as a second-class citizen just because of the color of her skin.

“No” she says to the driver.

The driver, Bruce, threatens her with arrest. I can call the police.”

Dexter King Memorial Church

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

“You may do that,” is her quiet reply that touched off the beginning of the battle for civil rights that spread like a raging wildfire from Montgomery across the nation.

Then on to the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where the new young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr. picked up the torch and led his people into a peaceful quest for the right to equal treatment. If you go there be sure to see the basement mural. It is a beautifully done piece of art depicting scenes from Dr. King’s life painted by John W. Feagin. The church is also a treasure from a historic point of view because of its age. It was built in the 1880’s. Stained glass windows to the front and the ones on top of the side windows are original to that period. An interesting irony is that this church  congregation  originally met in a slave traders pen. It was designated a national historic landmark on June 3, 1974,

 The King parsonage

The King parsonage

Next we went to the parsonage. Some of the furnishing are  the actual  pieces the King family used when they lived in Montgomery. Although Dr. King preached the way o f peace and non-violent resistance, his opponents did not. There are still traces of the bombing inflicted on the parsonage when his wife and young baby were home.

The Greyhound station where the Freedom Riders entered Montgomery may only be viewed from the exterior where markers retell that story. Then we continued on to Freedom Memorial, a round, flat, granite sculpture with water flowing gently over its surface. It was  designed by Maya Lin, who also created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

This is a trip you do not want to miss.  Black or white, this is an integral part of our history.

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Responses

  1. Great article. You captured our tour of the museum. It was quite moving and showed the reality of the time.

  2. What a great idea for a series of posts! Thanks for sharing and taking us on your trip with you – enjoyed this and will look forwar to more. 🙂

    Marvin D Wilson


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