April 30, 2017

Southern Tier - Road Trip - Montgomery

Dexter Parsonage- MLK Jr. House.  He lived here with his family from 1954 to 1960.  The same house was bombed in 1956.  

Dr. Shirley Cherry (pictured) provided me with the honor of opening the front door to MLK Jr's home, just like Dr. King would have done back in the day.

Dr. Shirley Cherry, also allowed me to sit at Dr. King's kitchen table where he had his most (self-proclaimed) profound spiritual epiphany of his life on Friday night, Jan. 27, 1956.

...."With my head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud….The words I spoke to God that midnight are still vivid in my memory.” ~MLK

Dr. Shirley Cherry (our tour guide on the right) introduced our group to Mrs. Vera Harris (seat on the left, holding my hand). 

 Mrs. Harris and her last husband, Dr. Richard Harris, housed the Freedom Riders who had risked their lives to challenge interstate transit segregation. Upon the Freedom Riders arrival to Alabama’s Capital City on May 20, 1961, they were brutally beaten at the Greyhound Bus Station downtown. With a state of Marshal Law declared, the Freedom Riders were ultimately extracted under the protection of the National Guard, and secretly and safely taken to the Harris’ home for a respite.

Mrs. Harris and her late husband’s house is located only a few houses away on the same street as where MLK Jr. and his family house was located. Mrs. Harris still lives in the same house today at the age of 94. She was present the night Dr. King’s house was bombed. Living history.

We make a quit stop at Dr. King's barbershop at the end of his street where a cute guy was getting his haircut.

 Located in downtown, at a the site of her arrest, is the world's only museum dedicated to Rosa Parks

On the Civil Rights Memorial are inscribed the names of individuals who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom during the modern Civil Rights Movement - 1954 to 1968.

So much history on these steps. It's where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the President of the Confederate States in 1861, and where MLK Jr. spoke after the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965 - a 104 years later.

After this tour of the Dexter Baptist Church, where MLK Jr was the preacher, I realize how center the church was to the civil rights movement. This is where they held numerous town meetings

I stop to take a picture of the Alabama State University and randomly walked by this historical marker. There's so much history in this city.

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