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History Coming Alive: The BJ Teen Civil Rights Journey

The BJ Civil Rights Journey to the South took us from Alabama to Georgia, through historic places that came alive through a collection of stories from leaders and fighters of the Civil Rights movement. We went to Birmingham, Alabama, and met with Bishop Calvin Woods. We marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and met with Joanne, who as an 11 year old participated in the march from Selma to Montgomery. We saw the house where Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., grew up, the house where Rosa Parks worked, and the stop where Rosa Parks got on a bus with the intent to change history. We visited the Equal Justice Initiative Memorial for lynching victims and attended services at a Baptist church where Dr. King had preached. 

We rode our bus from place to place and person to person as we attempted to unravel the stories that were barely mentioned in our textbooks. And as we listened to these stories it became clear that this history isn’t dormant or dead, but alive. It’s alive through the survivors, the people fighting to tell their stories. It’s alive through the dirt where leaders of the movement stood and the land beneath us that remembers the bloodshed. It’s alive through the work continuing today, and it’s alive because the fight is nowhere near over. 


Photos courtesy of Laura Schultze, Assistant Director, Youth and Teen Engagement