This post “Historical Travel – Birmingham Alabama Civil Rights Institute” was sponsored by Visit Alabama and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information on our sponsored post and/or affiliate links policy, please click here.
Historical Travel – Birmingham Alabama Civil Rights Institute
Traveling is one of the best ways to expand the mind. When you have been to many places and seen many things, you are bound to get a great view of life and be well rounded. It is really important to me as a parent to show Reese the world. I want her to be able to taste, touch, and see as many things in life as she can. The world is a beautiful place and I don’t want her to miss a thing. Every trip that we take together, she gets to soak in new information and learn about other cultures, and it makes me so incredibly happy. Yet that isn’t the only reason why we travel.
72 Hours in Alabama
Recently, Reese and I were able to take a trip to Alabama where there is a rich culture and history. Unlike some of the places we travel, there are important places to visit in Alabama that relate to OUR culture. As African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved, and then discriminated against, it is really important that we know our history. The challenge to learning that history is that so often in schools the truth is glossed over, or absolutely wrong. When you are raising an African American child, it is your duty as a parent to make it a point to show them what the truth of our history in this country is, even though it may sometimes be ugly.
Reese and I don’t shy away from terrible historical events ( you’ll recall that we are holocaust history buffs). While some parents choose to keep their children away from terrible historical events, I believe that it is critical for our children to understand early what humans are capable of when power is left unchecked, and they have used a group or class of people as a scapegoat.
Because I believe in these history lessons, it was really important to me that when we visited Birmingham, we were able to look at the important events of the Civil Right’s movement. Discrimination did not end with slavery, and segregation ruled the country for decades. Birmingham’s Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) highlights the history of the struggle to gain equal treatment for African Americans across this nation.
In the museum you are able to see pieces of history that you may have only heard of, some of them inspiring, and some of them sobering. Within those walls, you can see a set of water fountains, one designated “colored” and the other “white”. There is a lunch counter, the site of many protests to demand that African Americans be served as equals. There are even a full KKK uniform and a cross that was once burnt on a lawn and collected as evidence of a hate crime.
This is a painful history to view and learn about, but the BCRI does not shy away from it. At the institute, Reese and I were able to view all the areas that the fight for civil rights affected, from a trip to a restaurant for lunch, all the way to the way that Black businesses were targeted and how opportunities for education and entrepreneurship were stifled by hatred.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to share this experience with my daughter. It is only through continuing to see where we have been that we can have a positive effect on the future. We will never forget our trip to BCRI.