Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Montgomery Bus Station

Freedom Riders beaten here.

Freedom riders, black and white, were beaten here for attempting to use cross country buses in an integrated manner. The blacks sat in the seats and used the facilities designated for whites and the whites used the facilities and sat in the seats designated for blacks. The bus station is in the process of being restored as a museum. An excellent mural which commemorates the freedom rides and honors the freedom riders is posted around the front of the building, which is being restored as a museum. As Bob and I stood quietly reading of the courage and determination of the freedom riders I tried to imagine being the target of killer rage, ducking blows and bricks, fleeing bloody to First Baptist church in hope of safety. This was one of the moments when I really felt the life and death nature of the struggle against the evil of segregation - that many blacks felt it simply wasn't worth it to go on this way. There's a line in one of the freedom songs "Mr. Kennedy can't you see what segregation done to me?" I think I saw, a little, standing in the cold outside the Mongomery bus station.

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