“Being dragged off that bus was worth it just to see Barack Obama become president,” said Claudette Colvin, who was arrested before Rosa Parks was arrested for keeping her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama.
News Coverage and Reflections of the Alabama trip:
In early January, a delegation of 37 Christians and Jews from Hartford traveled together to Alabama to retrace the steps of civil rights leaders.
The trip, which has grown from members of Faith Congregational Church and its sister congregation, Immanuel Congregational Church, was co-sponsored by and included travelers from the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Jewish Community Relations Council. The Alabama trip included visits to new civil rights museums (The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which commemorates 4,000 lynching victims, opened to the public on April 26, 2018, in Montgomery, Alabama) as well as the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma (the sight of Bloody Sunday), the 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham. United Church of Christ representatives included Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi, Immanuel Congregational Church Senior Pastor the Rev. Kari Nicewander, Immanuel Associate Pastor The Rev. Isaac Lawson and Faith Congregational Church Pastor Stephen Camp.
In Honor of Martin Luther King Day, CT Jewish Ledger, Jan. 15, 2019
Selma Tourism Impacted by Government Shutdown, Alabama News Network, Jan. 4, 2019
Local Interfaith Leaders to Retrace Civil Rights History, We-Ha.com, Dec. 27, 2018
Seeing Is Believing– Stephen Camp
I Felt Fear. But We Shall Overcome – Isaac Lawson
To Tell the Truth: Reflections on Alabama – Kari Nicewander
You Can’t Change What You Don’t Acknowledge– Kent Siladi
Group members were affected by the sight of these columns, reminiscent of those at the Holocaust Museum in Berlin. Important conversations began to take place among the Christian and Jewish group members, black and non-black.
Our visit to the National Memorial, a memorial to the named and unnamed victims of lynching, began in the rain. We toured the grounds and looked at row upon row of rectangular steel blocks inscribed with the names of victims in each county in which a lynching took place.
We walked a winding path through the field of blocks, suspended in the air and clearly marked with the names of men women and children lynched. Some counties had 1 victim, others with a dozen or so. Counties ranged from the deep southern states of Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Arkansas to the Midwest.