The road to freedom: A modern day journey through the Civil Rights Movement
April 18, 2016 at 12:30 am
I was recently provided with the unique opportunity to embark on a ‘Freedom Tour’ through many historical sites from the Civil Rights Movement. Taking the journey at a time when our nation has seen a rise in racial tensions and issues of social justice, I felt it only necessary to bring my research, experiences, and pages of historical text to life. Having previously visited Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Greensboro, and Washington, D.C. — I was fully aware of what to expect; however, my willingness to visualize through a new perspective allowed me to see and appreciate the South.
Each day was full of education, sights and interactions that cannot and should not be compared to one another on any scale. Whether learning about voting barriers, restrictions and gerrymandering while at the Southern Poverty Law Center or hearing Joanne Bland, the youngest person arrested during the Selma to Montgomery marches, recount her experiences of ‘Bloody Sunday,’ the trip reignited a passionate flame within.
During our journey, I was exposed to the stories of countless individuals who endured pain and sacrifice for racial equality. As I traveled to new locations, the experiences continued to build upon each other bringing us from the past to the present. Though uncomfortable and sometimes saddening, the experiences were necessary to moving forward.
The week of experiences did prove one thing to be true — Yes, we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long road ahead of us. A luta continua, the struggle continues.
*All photos taken by Candice Crutchfield
Have you taken a “freedom tour” of your own? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.