We chose Montgomery, Alabama, for two reasons. The first reason is that my very dear friend whose hubby is in the military is stationed closer to me than she has been in 5 years, and I really wanted to see her. Then I was sold on going when I started looking into what was in Montgomery and discovered all of the civil rights museums. My big teen just finished studying the Civil Rights Movement a few months ago in history. Besides, how could we go on vacation without it being educational? LOL
On day one we did the civil rights tour. We started with the Civil Rights Memorial. It had a lovely water feature and water table with the names of many people who changed the course of the Civil Rights Movement. The children loved putting their hands on Dr. Martin Luther King's name and watching the water run over them. The children all signed the Wall of Tolerance. They promised to try to be tolerant of others and work towards justice for all. Actually, even though my Mom has never been to Montgomery, her name is one of the original names listed on the Wall for all the work she has done in her life for social justice. Once they realized we were homeschoolers, the workers at the Memorial gave us the teacher's package.
We also went to the Rosa Parks Museum. There were two sides to the museum and it was a bit expensive but really a good experience. The first side takes you into a "time machine" that is a stationary bus that takes you from 1830s to 1955 and the eve of Rosa Parks' famous bus ride into history. We were not allowed to take photographs, but it really was exciting and has won many awards.
Then you go to the other side to learn about the year of the bus boycott sparked by Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat.
They had a spot on the bus for the kids to sit and see what it was like during segregation. We also got to see Dr. Martin Luther King's church and home that he was living in during the time of the boycott. This home is also where he and his family were living when it was bombed.
It was a fascinating day and a great experience with our children. It is so important to us that our children walk in the path of justice and grow up with an ear to Jesus' words. We want them to show love for their fellow beings and do all they can to leave this world a better place than it was before they entered it. So that was the civil rights part of our vacation. There is much more to come in the next few days ~ stay tuned.