Dr. Susan Key
Employment Law MG413
It was coldest November day when my friend and I went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Coming here brought back a lot of memories because I feel like Civil Rights was the majority of what we studied in grade school. From the minute I parked I saw the 16th St Baptist Church that was bombed many years ago. I remember taking field trips there when I was a child. Walking through the building was like taking a journey through Birmingham’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and human rights struggles. The most familiar part of the institute was going past Martin Luther King Jr.’s exhibit. I always enjoyed hearing his speeches because he has so much passion when he spoke. He actually helped me out in my speech class my freshman year.
Another section I remembered studying in grade school was the displays of segregation. There were separate bathrooms and water fountains and they depicted how the “white” bathrooms were spotless and the “black” bathrooms were run down and dirty. And who can forget Rosa Parks and here decision to stay put in her seat, ignoring the bus driver, James Blake, on December 1, 1955.
Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. I thought it was going to be a walk in, look at stuff and leave type of thing but it truly brought back many memories from grammar school and what we studied then. I would encourage anyone who has not been to the Civil Rights Institute to go and see for themselves how interesting and heartfelt it is to see the past of our city, Birmingham, and what has become of it now. Birmingham has come a long way.
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