Tonight was just about as awe-inspiring as it comes... Thanks to a friend, I got to check out the Center of Civil and Human Rights Museum, and it was almost life changing... The things I saw, and the things that I neglected to allow my mind to realize was right there for me to not ignore. So, bear with me. It was so awesome!
Tonight, I saw hand-written material from Martin Luther King Jr., and other personal affects that he accumulated over the years from his time as a pastor, a leader, and father.
Me and LeeAnne both took our time reading the intro to his serman about marriage... we could not read 3 words, but, it was deep, and powerful, and as soon as its officially transcribed, I would like to try and post it for yall, cause its very powerful.
The exhibits held their own power as well, from the wall of the leaders of segregation, and the laws in place in the states dealing with segregation, to how they dealt with that segregation through schools, and everyday life, and also they had SEVERAL interactive exhibits Throughout there are little panels where you can listen to actual speeches, interviews and music sung during the time, We listened to a Bob Dylan song he sung during the march on Washington, and also heard a song sung by Mahalya Jackson.
But the 4 exhibits that stuck out to me were the "How it was" interactive one when you sat at a diner counter. You put headphones on, and your hands on the counter, and you have to sit through this taping of what it was like for those who were harassed, beatened, and belittled, and abused for just trying to peacefully grab something to eat or a cup of coffee... In front of you is a timer, and a picture of a woman sitting with a few other friends, having a milkshake dumped on her... its powerful.
The other was a walk through the exhibit of the ones killed. The 4 little girls died in a bomb explosion at a church... the 3 freedom fighters in Mississippi. That, by itself, was jaw dropping. And there was a small path that gave you an update on those freedom fighters who made it through. From women and men arrested, or witnessed different life events, to what they are doing now. Then we moved into probably the hardest exhibit from there.
There were TV's blasting the news of the riots that happened after the news of MLK Jr.'s assassination, and the news that Robert Kennedy shared with the crowd that night at his speaking engagement. . On an adjacent TV, was clips of a concert that James Brown put on in Boston the night after. It was played throughout the night in an attempt to keep everyone home.
And the final exhibit that really touched me, was walking up the stares of the series of images taken the moment before, during and after Martin Luther Kings assassination. First picture is him standing in his final spot, and then the second picture is of he on the ground, with his wound covered, then he being carried down the stairs on a gurney, and the last image is someone cleaning up his blood from the spot with foot prints of those who tried to help... Up the stairs on that landing, was clips of his funeral. from the viewing, the funeral, and his final ride through Atlanta, in a horse-drawn carriage. Also, on display was his death certificate, and hand written notes of the funeral costs... Seriously powerful stuff.
But what really touched me, were the pictures of the "Martyrs Of The Movement." I focused on only 2 pictures that stuck out... One was of a young black boy who was 13, that was gunned down by 2 white teenagers coming from a segregation rally saw this young man riding on the handle bars of his friends bike. He was only 13 years old... Those 2 boys that killed the kid, got sentence the max penalty, but didnt serve a day in jail... they only got 2 years of parole on a suspended sentence.... The other one was of a white woman who was from Detroit, and was so moved by the bus boycott that she moved went to Nashville to drive blacks back down to Montgomery... On the way, a klansman saw her, and what she was doing, open fired on her in her car, and killed her... Things like this, sticks with you...
The last part was all about whats going on today in the world... From the movements of yesteryear, to the unrest in the world today, it goes all over the place in the that ideology, as the movement continues all around the world. There was one last interactive exhibit named "I AM..." And when you selected on whichever mirror you were looking at, you could shuffle through Woman, girl, white, black, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, LGBT, and so on... And its all stories of people who have had to hide and fight for their lives before of who they were. The woman was a journalist in Saudi Arabia, who refused to be a woman in Saudi Arabia. The Jewish woman talked about her time in Nazi Occupied Ukraine... The Christian talked about how his family was murdered and how having faith wasn't accepted in his country... So, the fight continues for everyone of faith, color, sex, and sexual orientation.
They had a display of the words worst dictators, from Hitler, to Idi Amean, showed those who are in trial now, those convicted, and those still at large like Kony... It also gave you info on how you can help, and so on... So, honestly, if you get a chance to go, PLEASE take full advantage. Its powerful... its not YouTube, its not social media... its a small display of our history, and how far we have come as a nation, and how much farther we have to go as a world... I have a brand new perspective of people who have gone through everything that they did, just so I can sit here, and tell you about it... If you think that saying or doing anything that would be deemed racist, sexist, or bigot... don't do it... there have been way too many people to have witnessed, been beaten by, and suffered all the abuses that people are STILL fighting today. You have got to realize that because it may be cool, doesn't make it so. Its amazing the things you will learn if you get a chance to check it out... So yes. please go check it out! :) It was amazing.