Day 4 Wednesday, May 9

In the morning, the host school led Tefillah. The rabbi incorporated different styles from the various schools that were participating in Tefillah. Then we had a guest speaker whose mom integrated the Selma public library. She gave a compelling speech today, on the anniversary of her mother’s birthday (who would have been 104).

After that, we went on the bus and went to the Vulcan Statue to eat lunch. (More about this later.)

We then went to the Civil Rights District with a tour guide who taught us a lot. We entered the Civil Rights Institute with the Birmingham school, and our group split into two, one with Gabby and one with Mac. She was part of a program called Legacy from Parker High School. This included lots of timelines showing how different events led to others, sort of like cause and effect. Mac was a seasoned docent who really engaged us in learning. He said he was very impressed with what we already knew.

After that, we got back on the bus and returned to the Vulcan Statue to learn about the history of the iron industry in Birmingham. We learned that the statue won the World’s Fair in 1904. It was created in seven months which today is deemed impossible. We went up about 150 ft. either by elevator or stairs (Those of us who were afraid of heights were pretty frightened, right Miranda? ) We were shown that Birmingham grew as a major city because of the three materials found in close proximity. These were limestone, coal and iron ore. The Great Depression hit the city very hard, although WWII got them on their feet again. Birmingham is called the Magic City because of how quickly it grew because of its steel industry.

We learned a lot about the Children’s March from one of the foot soldiers, called Reverend Gwen Webb. She had a very influential story about how children can make a difference. She also taught us a lot about how if you do good things, positive things will happen to you. Her own story was breathtaking because she is a living primary source. After the story, we made a “love chain” and sang civil rights songs. We changed the words of “We Shall Overcome” to “We shall overcome today” from the original “someday.”


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