Alabama Odyssey 2019: Day 6

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Day in Montgomery
Legacy Museum
National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Lunch – Filet and Vine
SPLC Memorial
Alabama Statehouse
Equal Justice Initiative
Dinner at Martha’s Place
Retire to 1412 Water Avenue

The Memorial to the Confederacy at the State House was a beautiful place, but thinking of what happened there angered me. So many people with hatred in their hearts stood in the same places as me, but also justice fighters. So I was conflicted.

Embarrassed is not probably what most people would feel, but that is how I felt at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. I felt that because I couldn’t help myself from thinking that one of my ancestors might have been there and didn’t put a stop to it. Then I started to wonder, if I was there, would I be too afraid to try to stop it, or how would I even stop it. Talking to Eliot really helped me make the connection that what they want is for these 4000+ people to be remembered. And that is what I can do.

There were so many names, too many names, and so many monuments. Walking through the monuments at first was easier physically to look at, but as I kept walking, I had to look up. It became more overwhelming by the second. All of these people died hanging, and I was looking at their memory.

There were a lot of times today that I felt very sad. I saw the monuments and the names and I feel that now I’ve seen it, it is realer than ever before. How could our country do such devastating actions?

When we entered [The Legacy Museum] there were a set of videos of people behind bars. What struck me was that at one end there was a women calling for her children, a boy and a girl. At the end of the hall were a girl and a boy, looking for their mama. I wanted so desperately to connect these people.

How Dare I

A burgundy casket hung
A life taker forgotten
How dare I stand upon this ground of so many bodies
And breath the breaths of so many sisters

How dare I forget the faceless names
And meaningless faces
Every Martin Johnson
And Lewis Martin

As the metallic tears stream down
Her face
How dare I?
After a day full of essential but difficult experiences we just needed a romp