• We left our last hotel at about 8:30 in the morning. As bittersweet as that was, the long drive presented itself as the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we have been learning for the past ten days. While at first the museums seemed to blend together, there are certain distinct moments of immersion that set them apart.

  • I had to wake up early today and get breakfast quickly. In Birmingham, Alabama, what a nice city! I will remember that I first tried the southern fried chicken and it was really good so far during my stay in the US. However, as we headed to Memphis, Tennessee, of the uncountably times that I fell asleep in the bus, it was worth it to finally wait for the Stax Museum visit.

  • Today like most other days started off with an early breakfast and a bus ride up the north  from Birmingham Alabama to Memphis Tennessee. Our first stop was the stax museum of American soul music. The Stax museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of soul music in America and celebrating  its role in the civil rights movement.

  • All my life I grew up with repeating two -phrases, “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Roll Tide”. It is only fitting that these two phrases have also been my most repeated ones on this trip, for all the days but especially the days in Alabama. Being born and raised in the Deep South and one of the most historic cities in this nation, Birmingham Alabama, I came to Carleton with so much Southern Pride and have grown to never be ashamed of the place that I call home.

  • What does an average Sunday look like for my family or my friends? For some, it is getting ready for Sunday football. Wearing your favorite jersey’s and eating hotdogs as you cheer for your favorite team. For others, it is getting brunch with your friends and spilling the latest tea. For some, it is putting your Sunday best and heading to church.

  • Day eight started like any other, I woke up about thirty minutes before departure time and prepared for the day. After packing up all my stuff I made my way downstairs skipping breakfast as per usual. Heading towards the bus I see Scotty loading up the luggage with great enthusiasm and say, “Good Morning!” and “Thank you!”

  • Today, (March 23rd 2023) was a whirlwind of a day. We started the day at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy museum. Tracing American history from slavery to mass incarceration today. Of all the museums we have visited on this trip, this one was perhaps the most powerful, save for the Smithsonian.

  • This morning we loaded the bus at 7:30 am to depart for Selma, Alabama. In Selma, we visited the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, where I learned the backstory behind the march from Selma to Montgomery and “Bloody Sunday.”

  • As I sit back and reflect on today, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of sympathy and compassion. I was able to gain a new understanding of the troubles that my ancestors faced on a daily basis. Truthfully listening to testimonies, standing on the monumental ground, and reading gruesome stories was a life-changing experience.

  • Now entering Day Six of the Northfield to Selma spring break trip, we continued to explore places and spaces in where Dr.King spent his time in Atlanta, GA. We had the chance to first tour the MLK National Park and Birthplace. The King Family Church (Ebenezer Baptist Church), the MLK burial ground, and his family home were all located at this location in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood.

  • Day 6 of our journey from Northfield was spent in a couple different places in Atlanta, GA. Our day started exploring the MLK National Park, a place I had been before when I first came to Atlanta about 7 years ago. This visit was different than the first, and better, for two reasons. Firstly, it was more impactful than before, especially because of all of the content I have learned in this last week and have been able to unpack with my peers.

  • The morning of our journey started with our usual flurry of activity as we prepared for the day ahead, filing up on satisfying southern food. As we draw nearer to the south, the food just keeps on getting better and better, and I can’t wait to see what culinary delights await us in Alabama. During the initial leg of our journey, we alternated our times between catching up on much-needed sleep, fiddling with our phones or in my case, getting in some crotchet time.

  • Pancakes, bacon, and eggs were a delicious scent to wake up to as I rapidly downed breakfast before boarding the bus at 6:30 am this morning. The smooth road and dark sky soothed my mind as I patiently sat on a cushioned seat and fell asleep for approximately 3 hours. Waking up, to my disbelief, I was no longer in Virgina and I was able to sink in the piercing sun and blue skies in Greensboro, North Carolina.

  • Today, Dean Livingston dropped the group inside the National Museum of African American Culture and History in Washington D.C. for a day-long museum experience. The NMAAHC is especially valuable as it is home to a collection of millions of artifacts donated by collectors, friends, and descendants of African Americans throughout history.

  • The highlight of today was our visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This Smithsonian museum is located adjacent to the Washington Monument in Washington DC and highlights the African American story from the 15th century up until the present day. The main exhibit featured three floors: “Slavery and Freedom” (1400-1877), “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation” (1876-1968), and “A Changing America” (1968 and beyond).

  • Today, we spent our time exploring the DC area. Spots on our itinerary for today including such destinations as the Lincoln Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, and Ben’s Chili Bowl.

  • After the early morning departure from Uniontown, PA, we made our way to Washington DC for our first stop. However, rather unfortunately, the Fredrick Douglas house was closed for remodel so we were unable to visit. Instead, we had extra free time which I took with great pleasure.

  • Welcome to day 2 of our Northfield to Selma adventure! Today’s destinations were Cincinnati, Ohio, and Uniontown, Pennsylvania. 

    We woke up really early (okay 7 AM is not so early but it was still dark outside and I am an international student) to load the bus.

  • It was a long bus drive to Cincinnati Ohio, not as long as the first bus driver, but still very long. When we got there I liked looking at the bridge over the river, it was a slightly greenish greyish color and there was a light drizzle but it was alright. When we got to the museum I got to learn a lot about the history of that river and its importance. 

  • I’ve always been fond of road trips ever since I was a child. Every summer I would take road trips with my mom and sisters as a vacation to one of their neighboring cities in Texas or nearby states. So, I was very excited to start the trip off with a 9 hour road trip to Indiana with my friends. But, to get to this point was a journey.

  • What do you say about the first day of what is supposed to be an amazing road trip to Selma?