Driving has a relaxing affect on me much like running. Traveling down I-65 to Panama City Beach, Florida is a new adventure. I normally take 75 into the Tampa/Clearwater area for vacations.
I had to stop in Birmingham, AL along the route. My Smootents read a lot about the Civil Rights Movement in their U.S. History class.
This hands on experience sharpened my understanding of this era. Reading about history and standing on the ground where it all unfolded broadens my desire to learn and teach more.
The first stop was The 16th Street Baptist Church to see the site of the KKK bombings that took the lives of four girls in 1963.
The Civil Rights Museum is across the street. I did not want to rush through the exhibits, so we walked around Kelly Ingram Park.
Kelly Ingram Park is known as Ground Zero because it was the meeting place for all of the demonstrations and marches.
A circle called the Freedom Walk provides education about the key events during the Civil Rights Movement.
Before I jumped back on the highway, I had to dine with the locals. I knew FIFE restaurant was an excellent choice when I pulled into a packed parking lot at 10am and could smell the food outside.
The hostess asked if we wanted dine in or carry out. She told us to seat ourselves and a waitress would be right with us. The atmosphere was like Mom’s kitchen. You have to get in where you fit in.
I introduced myself to two gentlemen. One man grew up in Birmingham and remembers the MLK speeches and meetings in the church. The other man moved to AL from the Virgin Islands to take up construction jobs.
We conversed for an hour and a half about the Civil Rights Movement, revolution, open mindedness, and reconciliation.