Wednesday in Alabama - April 3, 2019 - 6th Grade

Dr. Martha Bouyer, a civil rights historian, arrived in the morning to talk to us about her experiences. She used the metaphor of "tug of war" to make us see how the black people came together to defeat Bull Connor. She was saying that everyone who got knocked down got back and made sure the bullies didn’t win and we should go over to Fred Shuttlesworth side of the rope (portrayed by a student). It was also cool to know that we all did something to make sure that a bully didn’t win. -Ari

We had lunch at Railroad Park and then went to ...

... the Civil Rights Museum where Mr. Barry McNealy was our tour guide. It was very deep and emotional. I was really interested in how much was explained. The first thing we saw was a video and I learned that when Birmingham was developing in the late 1800's black and white people worked together. It kind of felt like I was in the moment because at the end of the video the screen lifted and the water fountains in the movie were there in front of me. I really liked a section in a “cinema” when Mr. Mac told us about a black man who was attacked and beaten. He still finished the show. - Todd

In the museum there was a full KKK outfit and it was really disturbing. There was also a burnt bus to show the firebomb that was thrown at the Freedom Riders. The white classroom and black classroom were really different and definitely not equal. -Na'ama

We met Reverend Gwen Webb at Kelly Ingram park. She was the second black female police officer in Birmingham. It was really interesting how when she was in high school she was a leader for getting people to marches. After listening to her stories and singing a song, we walked through the park. The statue of the four girls was really meaningful because we learned about it at school and now we actually were across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church. I thought the doves of hope and peace above the statue were meaningful. -Na'ama

We went to the Negro Southern League Baseball Museum for about an hour. I thought it was really interesting how at the beginning negro players had to have old uniforms. After a while the uniforms got better- easier to move around in and better made. There were really good black players who never really got famous because of the segregation. I was excited to get the Willy Walker card. What I like about the whole trip so far is that there are a lot more triumphs than losses. It was like a rocky road to start but when the movement got started it went smoother. It’s been nice and I’ve made friends. - Ari

After returning to the school and having free time, we presented the Matrix of Martyrs that we made with Morah Marcy. We learned about people that died for what they believed in and were not famous. We all had a chance to write and draw in our journals as well. (Students have been doing this daily and we hope they will share it with you when we return.)

Our day ended with dinner at the Chabad House and a guest speaker named Undre Phillips. He is conducting lynching research to find the histories of the 30 black men who were lynched in Jefferson County, Alabama. We will see their names at the Lynching Memorial on Thursday.




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