Note: Please be forewarned that I have included a disturbing photo at the end of this post.
The morning of my sixtieth birthday, my husband, Wendy, and I drove into downtown Montgomery, Alabama, counting on road signs to guide us to civil rights landmarks. We passed one for the Civil Rights Memorial and, while backtracking to find it, an iconic red-brick church rose up before us. My heart caught in my throat at the site of the Dexter Street Baptist Church where MLK, Jr. was pastor from 1954 to 1960.
Unfortunately, a funeral was scheduled for that morning, so we were unable to go inside.
|Photo from www.splc.org
Inside, we learned that she left a space on the civil rights timeline to
indicate that there were many incidents before this time and after.
I was not surprised that, to enter, we had to go through airport-like security since I was well aware of the many death threats against founder Morris Dees. Also, you may remember the 2009 murder of a Holocaust Museum security guard by an aging white supremacist.
Among other things, the museum featured a fascinating mural of the major events during the Civil Rights Era. But there was also a reminder that, on a smaller scale (thank God), these types of things still go on. One example was a pair of young men who were “looking for people to kill.” Black, Hispanic, anyone as long as they weren’t white. They eventually killed a young girl because “she trusted us and she was in-between.”
“By placing my name on the Wall of Tolerance, I pledge to take a stand against hate, injustice and intolerance. I will work in my daily life for justice, equality and human rights – the ideals for which the Civil Rights martyrs died.”
|Photo of 14-year old Emmit Till
in his casket. The inset shows
the boy before the murder.