Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The last two days have been filled with so much info, emotion, conversation that I don’t quite know where to begin. We have heard from so many wonderful people. The women we have heard from have been incredible. I have, however found a recurring theme from them. The women from Marion, Joanne, our tour guide in Selma, her sister, and Shirley, our guide at the Dexter Church Parsonage in Montgomery (MLK’s home) all shared a similar story. They left home after the voting rights act was passed and moved north, some to Michigan, one to New York, one to Rhode Island. After being away for up to 30 years, they all moved back to the south. When I asked Joanne why she left, she told me it was because the people in power, before the voting rights had been established, were still in power after. In other words, nothing changed. When I asked why she moved back, she told me that she longed to be with family. I found that strange to me since it never crossed my mind to move back home after I left. Every day on this tour I think nothing can top the day before, but every day is different and deeper, and sadder. We’re in Mississippi tomorrow. This could be difficult. Home on Wednesday.