Sunday, January 15, 2012
These photos were taken when my sister and I visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site during my trip in November (2011) to Atlanta, Georgia. We took MARTA, get off at Five Points station, then transfered to Bus #3. The Center, the Birth Home, this Historic Site and the Church all within walking distance on Auburn Avenue.
We first went to the National Park Service Visitor Center (450 Auburn Avenue) to sign up for the guided tour of Dr. King's birth home on 501 Auburn Avenue. While waiting for the scheduled time to visit the home, we toured the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, then walked to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and crossed the street to the National Historic Site. The Center has exhibits such as Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize, personal bible, a handwritten sermon, the key to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where he was assassinated and many items chronicling the civil rights movement.
The sculpture (below), outside the Historic Site, is the art work of Patrick Morelli. The scuplture reflects the ancient African ritual of lifting the newborn up the heaven and reciting the words, "Behold the only thing greater than yourself". Mrs. Coretta Scott King unveiled this monument as a tribune to Dr. King and as an inspiration to others to fight for dignity, social justice, and human rights.
I became very emotional when we visited the Freedom Hall, one of the exhibit rooms at the Center. The Freedom Hall includes photographic essays honoring Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi and other civil rights/human rights leaders. It has been almost 5 months since the "incident" took place, yet I still felt the pains caused by the humiliation. I could almost envision Ms. Parks and Dr. King shaking their heads in disbelief and disappointment, as we wonder how could such blatant discrimination still happening in America. The year is 2011, yet there are people who act as if there were still two sections on buses, movie houses and segregate water fountains. In a small way, I hope Ms. Parks would approve that I defended my dignity, that I held those violated the laws accountable for their actions and I was inspired to fight so that social justice would be safeguarded, not just for myself but for others. I hope Dr. King would be pleased that it would be the best way to honor his birthday and his legacy.