My friends and I, pretty much at last minute, decided to take a road trip to Montgomery, AL, USA....yeah not something you hear about every day. But Montgomery holds a new museum dedicated to US history but not the best part of our history. But history is something you must learn in order to prevent it from happening in the future. But before we get started, have you subscribed to my mailing list? If not, what are you waiting for??? You will get travel deals, discounts to my store and travel updates! So go ahead and and SUBSCRIBE NOW! If you are already a subscriber, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Now, back to the road trip! We hit the road around noon that Saturday for a two hour trip from Atlanta to Montgomery. Upon arrival to Montgomery, it felt as if it was a ghost town. No one was on the streets downtown on a Saturday. Something we aren't used to in Atlanta.
We first visited The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Here is where only documented lynchings of African Americans are given a memorial. For those that do not know, lynching is due to racial terrors conducted in the Southern US between 1877 and 1950. Lynching is the hanging and torture of a victim for any reason but the main reason being race. Within this memorial, you will see memorials for counties from across the Southern US states. See below the slide show of photos from the memorial and hopefully you can feel the power and the sobering reality of United States history here.
After leaving this memorial, we ventured over to The Legacy Museum. The Legacy Museum is "located on the site of a former warehouse where black people were enslaved in Montgomery, AL" (from their brochure). You start the journey through the museum by hearing holographic slaves locked up in jail cells describing their stories. This starts your walk through the enslavement period of African Americans from when my ancestors were taken from their homes through the Atlantic Slave Trade. Eventually, the Atlantic Slave Trade was outlawed which bred the Domestic Slave Trade located in the Southern US with Alabama and Georgia being heavily involved.
After the Civil War, the 13th amendment made slavery unconstitutional except when a crime was committed. The museum walks you through how crimes were essentially made up just to enslave, torture and lynch individuals based on the color of their skin. As you continue to walk through Civil Rights to the current day of incarceration, you begin to realize that slavery still exists but in a different format. I believe it was most disturbing seeing a photograph of black men chained together working in jail yard that used to be a plantation.
As you see in today's climate within the US of unarmed black men being killed, blacks being incarcerated at heavier charges than whites...it all makes sense. This museum is probably said to be African American history...yet it is the history of the United States of America. This history affects all people living on this land. The museum is eye opening and awakening yet sobering. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures inside of the museum (except the one they provide) but here is a slide show of that one and a few from outside.
This is a place I suggest all Americans go see to understand where we have came from before heading into the future. And when you see these memorials and pictures imagine as if you are looking at yourself, a family member ,or a friend. Put yourself in their shoes and just try to imagine how it feels to be in this position. And if you are visiting the US and enjoy learning the history of another culture, this is a must see and it is only $10 USD to see both the memorial and museum.
Have you visited this memorial? What did you think? If not, what are some other great places you have visited that told US history? Comment your answers below.
Thank you for reading!
~ Kita the Explorer
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