Glenn T. Eskew signs a copy of his book, But For Birmingham, for Doris. He was a fascinating speaker who helped fill in information gaps in the Civil Rights folder of the history file in my brain. I can't wait to read his entire book.
The 16th Street Baptist Church. Sunday morning most of our group attended church here. I don't mean we "watched" the church service. I mean WE HAD CHURCH! Overwhelmingly, our group members talked about how they could now understand the role of the church in the organization and inspiration of community members as they prepared to stand for equal rights. We could imagine that the pastor was the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. with Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph Abernathy at his side on the pulpit. The choir was inspirational, and the love for children and families demonstrated helped us to understand the strength that people of the Movement drew from the church.
This photo is not in perfect focus, but it is the only one I have of Joanne Bland and me. She was an eleven-year-old child when she crossed the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma, Alabama in March of 1965. The first two attempts to cross ended with the marchers turning around to regroup and decide what to do next. The third march across the bridge became known as "Bloody Sunday". On this day a non-violent march was met with violence that shocked the nation when they saw it on television and in the newspapers. Joanne shared many memories with us. What a unique opportunity to hear about a historic event and time in history from someone who was there. Pay attention! Your older relatives and friends may have important bits of wisdom and history to share with you. Tomorrow's history happens today.