Friday, March 13, 2009

Things that inspire

Southern Poverty Law Center - 
Water memorial outside designed by Maya Lin that honors 40 individuals who helped make the CRM a success.  Water has been symbolic overtime for so many things, but I think it has great symbolism for healing.  The inside was interesting and wasn't information overload.  After seeing everything we've seen so far, it helped tie everything together ... but it also told a few of the many untold stories.  
Cool documentary shown ahead of time, "Faces in the Water", which began with the powerful story of Emmett Till, but also of others such as Jimmy Lee and Viola Gregg.  

Quote on wall: "We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim." 
-Elie Wiesel

Interesting thoughts from tour guide: 
-We all have the propensity to operate on some prejudices.  Racism is institutionally based, but prejudice is more human nature.
-Remember... being the target of oppression or on the privileged side is always interchangeable.  

Rosa Parks Museum:
Boycott lasted 381 days.  That's a freakin long time to walk.  And an even longer time to lose $3,000 each day from African Americans not using the bus system.

From You Stood Up - Rosa Parks poem by TJ Gardner Jr:
Sometimes one small act of courage
However hopeless, yet in a just endeavor
May have the power to vanquish tyranny
And change the world forever

We know that physical acts of violence 
As history has revealed
Are never as effective 
As defiance of the will.

-- I love that last line.

If you're reading this, google MLK's Epiphany right now.  The most powerful thing I've read the whole trip.

Other quotes from the Parks museum:
"One feels history is being made in Montgomery these days.  It's hard to imagine a soul so dead, a heart so hard, a vision so blinded and provincial as not to be awed with admiration and the quiet dignity discipline and dedication with which the negroes conducted the boycott." 
- Juliette Morgan, young, white librarian in letter to Montgomery Advertiser

"... That's how it was and that's why I walked.  I wanted to be one of them that tried to make it better.  I didn't want somebody else to make it better for me." - Gussi Nesbitt

" It's a feeling that makes you feel American.  America is a great country and we're doing something to make it better." - Jo Ann Robinson

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