Last week I traveled to Georgia to visit some family, since the part of Georgia I was in was under a three hour drive from Montgomery, Alabama. I decided to take a day trip there. I planned to go to Alabama Department of Archives & History, the Legacy Museum, the National Memorial For Peace and Justice and to visit my cousin Frank.
Our first stop was the Legacy Museum located at 115 Coosa Street.
“The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration opened to the public on April 26, 2018, in Montgomery, Alabama. The 11,000-square-foot museum is built on the site of a former warehouse where enslaved black people were imprisoned, and is located midway between an historic slave market and the main river dock and train station where tens of thousands of enslaved people were trafficked during the height of the domestic slave trade. Montgomery’s proximity to the fertile Black Belt region, where slave-owners amassed large enslaved populations to work the rich soil, elevated Montgomery’s prominence in domestic trafficking, and by 1860, Montgomery was the capital of the domestic slave trade in Alabama, one of the two largest slave-owning states in America.” (museumandmemorial.eji.org)
I went through a number of emotions while in the museum, I went from sad once I entered, then I begin to get mad half way through viewing the timeline on the wall. Before exiting I was happy that this museum exist, I definitely recommend visiting the Legacy Museum while in Montgomery.
Photo from museumandmemorial.eji.org
Next, we went to the National Memorial For Peace and Justice located at 417 Caroline Street. I believe there is free shuttle service from the museum to the memorial, if you feel like driving your car, there is plenty of parking at the memorial (well I went on a Monday and there was plenty of parking for me) you can also walk to the memorial which will take you about 16 minutes.
“The Memorial for Peace and Justice was conceived with the hope of creating a sober, meaningful site where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality. EJI partnered with artists like Kwame Akoto-Bamfo whose sculpture on slavery confronts visitors when they first enter the memorial. EJI then leads visitors on a journey from slavery, through lynching and racial terror, with text, narrative, and monuments to the lynching victims in America. In the center of the site, visitors will encounter a memorial square, built in collaboration with MASS Design Group. The memorial experience continues through the civil rights era made visible with a sculpture by Dana King dedicated to the women who sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Finally, the memorial journey ends with contemporary issues of police violence and racially biased criminal justice expressed in a final work created by Hank Willis Thomas. The memorial displays writing from Toni Morrison and Elizabeth Alexander, words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a reflection space in honor of Ida B. Wells.” (museumandmemorial.eji.org)
It was eerily quiet walking under the steel monuments, it was 95 degrees and I got chills.
Below are some of the picture I took while at the memorial.
Next stop was Alabama Department of Archives & History located at 624 Washington Ave. It was about 1:30 PM by the time we got to the archives and I planned on getting an hour of research in. To my surprise the research room is closed on Monday’s (I should have checked the hours of operation, rookie mistake) but I did learn the research room will be now be open every Saturday.
Our last stop was to visit cousin Frank, we met about five years ago through our cousin Sonny, whom I met via ancestry.com. My great great grandfather and cousin Frank’s grandfather were brothers.