Afternoon Day 5 – Selma

In many ways Day 5 of the Solano College Civil Rights Travel Course is the most meaningful for me. In December of 1964 I turned eighteen – the magic number. Although black children had demonstrated in Birmingham and registered voters in projects in Mississippi and Alabama, I had to be an adult before I could volunteer to work with any of the major civil rights organizations. (I couldn’t vote. The voting age was still 21.) Selma occurred three months after I turned eighteen. I watched the marches there with different eyes than I had the civil rights events that went before.

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Day 5: Commitment

Let’s talk creature comforts before we go back to Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. McCord has made sure there is a cooler full of ice and bottled water and she reminds us constantly that we need to drink it since we aren’t used to the heat and the humidity. And, there are snacks from chips, Fiber One Bars, brownies to many others. This is good planning since our meals are often far apart and we do get hungry.

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Into the Valley of Death: Atlanta to Birmingham

“Fear is mastered through faith.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today we skim along the highway in an air conditioned bus singing freedom and gospel songs under the direction of Edward, Gloria Jean and Khafre. Some sing, others talk, read, play Solitaire on their computers or listen to their iPODS. I think they miss the point of the songs we sing. These songs are the prayers and the symphony of the Civil Rights Movement – not just songs they might sing at camp. They are a form of Soul.

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