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.
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.
After lunch on the bus from Tuskegee we arrive in Montgomery. We have been to two museums, a college tour and a tour of Booker T. Washington’s home so far today. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial, The Children’s Museum and the Rosa Parks Museum lie ahead this afternoon.