At the Children’s March staging ground, Kelly Ingram Park

We toured Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, AL.  In 1963, civil rights protesters, mostly children, were beaten by police, bitten by police dogs and blasted by fire hoses.  We walked through the park individually, and I set off on my own at a slow pace so that I could take in all the history that surrounded me.  I passed a tree where the bark was still missing, torn off by the fire hoses 45 years ago. All of a sudden it began to rain.  As everyone else hurried back to the bus I remained, because, to me, the rain was a minor struggle compared to what happened there in 1963.  I did not change my pace because the rain would never hit me as hard as the fire hoses had many non-violent protesters. With all the emotion I had felt at that moment of hate, pain, fear, remorse, and, most importantly, sadness, tears began to roll down my cheek, managing to mix with the rain. This was one of many experiences I had over the summer journey that made me a better person.

Eboneka Coleman, Class 14