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Thursday, 18 Dec 2014

Middle School Odyssey 2014

Alabama Odyssey Day 3

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Friday, April 5

7:30 breakfast at Hargis

9:30 Joe Minter –“Africa in America”

Drive to Montgomery

1:00 lunch Filet and Vine

2:00 Dexter Avenue Baptist Church

3:00 Southern Poverty Law Center Civil Rights Memorial Center

3:30 Greyhound Bus Station Freedom Ride Museum

5:00 Charlie Lucas - Pink Lily

On to Selma

Dinner with our hosts, David and Sharon Jackson of the Selma House


To be different

to look outside

where no one will find you

into your own world of beauty

of self reliance

to be in the reach of perfection

a life without distraction

to dance to a beat

created in the soul

perfected in the heart

I am different

you are different

we are the same.


Day 3 -- still alive.

Stepping into Joe Minter's yard is like stepping into a Dr. Seuss Bible.


How can one describe Joe Minter's property, the speeches given at Dexter Ave. Baptist Church, Charlie Lucus' humor and attitude? How can these experiences be described in simple words? To be fully realistic, they can't, but the memories will never leave.


Two artists

One is driven

by religion

and ancestors.

One is driven

by beauty and

function and


One is surrounded by his ancestors

One hardly has any family that speaks to him

Both with hard lives.


Without glue

without tape


can fit things with one another


can create my dreams


it is incredible,

how such wonders

can be built from the ground up

with nothing at all

And that I

no matter how much money is in my pocket,

no matter what materials I am provided,

can make something wonderful

We, as humans,

are all natural born artists.

Some choose to embrace this trait,

which we are all given,

to make their life,

their love,

their mind,

their heart.


Jonah recites his speech in the voice of Bayard Rustin from the pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery

Rhea recites her speech in the voice of Rosa Parks from the pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery

You don't want to fall through the cracks of life.

Charlie Lucas

If you live right, you sleep well at night.

Joe Minter

Click on embedded video for a short view of Joe Minter's work

Alabama Odyssey Day 2

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Reverend Webb's intense speech coupled with the historic surroundings made me feel the presence of all the people who had taken part in the Children's March. When  I looked out at Kelley Ingram Park I could almost see the firehoses and dogs.


When Reverend Webb in the human chain, I felt truly and literally connected to the hundreds of warriors in the Civil Rights Movement. Reverend Webb took my hands and it was like we had been holding hands our whole lives.


Dear People of the Civil Rights Movement,

People do not know you as much as they know Dr. King but you helped make it happen. You were not known but went to all the mass meetings in Birmingham. You were not known but went to jail in the Children's March. You were not known but were in the Bloody Sunday March, the march to Montgomery, and the March on Washington. You were not known but you are the Civil Rights Movement.


The people here are so open. It seems to highlight how restrictive can be. I have met very few people in my life who are able to treat a group of people they have never met before as if they knew them for their entire life. When a person opens up to you, you open up to them.


Reverend Webb was very passionate. She had a strong voice that was so easy to follow. She looked into your eyes like she was trying to cleanse you soul. She made you not want to look away. She made you scared that if you blink, you will loose connection to this motivational, powerful figure.


At the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute I was moved by the room with life sized etched glass figures of white people. They all had scowls or hateful faces. At the other end of the room was a full KKK robe and one of their wooden crosses that had been used in their burning ritual. While walking through this room, I felt what it must have been like for a small child who was being glared at through hateful eyes. It was a very intense room to be in.


Lexi sings her song, Four LIttle Girls, in the church that is described by her song.

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Alabama Odyssey Day 1

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We have arrived, safe and sound. Tired, full, and incredibly excited.

From the outside it didn't look like much, no big signs or tapestries. Nothing felt like much until I took my seat and the deacon started talking. I couldn't understand him very well, but just his tone and talk told me how experienced and enthusiastic he was about what he was doing. When we sang I felt like we went back in time and I started seeing in black and white. When the Pastor and Mrs. Shuttlesworth started speaking I felt history parade into the room like the fourth of July.


Mrs. Shuttlesworth said her calling was to be a teacher but she gave that up for Reverand Shuttlesworth. Now she teaches people about Reverand Shuttlesworth. Perhaps if something is truly calling you it will come back even after it has been given up.


Listening to Mrs. Shuttlesworth was very inspiring. I really enjoyed it when she was explaining that what you do as the purpose of your life comes to you. Now I know to not limit myself, and when that purpose comes to me I will know that that is what I am meant to do in this lifetime.


As I stare at the pavement

a sensation comes over me.

A needle tearing through

revealing but a single drop of blood

my own blood.

The same color held high

while storming into battle

the same color to be accompanied

by blue and white.

And through this single drop I bled

I see that we all bleed

in red


We Sing at Historic Bethel Baptist Church with Mrs. Shuttlesworth and Deacon Gunn

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Alabama Odyssey 2013 - Wednesday

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