Freedom Summer: Day 2

June 15, 2014 

Atlanta, Georgia 
Martin Luther King Center
Martin Luther King Home
Ebenezer Baptist Church

Birmingham, Alabama
- Kelly Ingram Park
- Four Spirits Memorial
16th Street Baptist Church
- Dreamland Barbecue

FNN Tech Prep Bureau
Sunday, June 15, 2014.  Today was rejuvenating and fulfilling. We traveled from North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama. While in Atlanta, we visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. It felt amazing to feel as though you are walking some of the exact steps he walked many years ago. It also felt good to stand in the church were his grandfather, father and himself actually preached. The recordings of Martin Luther King Jr. preaching as I sat in the pews made this one of my favorite parts of the trip. I felt so alive. I felt as though I was there and should take action for what is right. I was surprised I felt this way since I have been learning about MLK Jr. all my life. I thought I would just listen and let it go through one ear and out the other but, that didn’t happen at all. Instead, every word I heard and everything I read stuck to me. Seeing the house where he grew up and touching some of the things he may have touched sent chills through my body. He was an amazing person who did amazing things that I want to live up to. Once we arrived in Birmingham, we were greeted by the amazing civil rights activist, James Webb, in the Kelly Ingram Park. We got the chance to interview him and everything he said was full of wisdom. I felt blessed by his presence. He started in the movement at the age of 12. He told us that the most important thing we should do is vote because people fought for this for a long time and we don’t want history to repeat itself.
- Rydia Wright

June 15, 2014. Today's journey led us to Atlanta then to Birmingham Alabama. While in Atlanta we visited Martin Luther King's church and his burial site. We also visited the eternal flame for Martin Luther King, Jr.  We toured his church and we also were fortunate to see the house he grew up in. While walking through the park that has his burial site, I started thinking about what he would think and feel if he saw our society today. I believe he would applaud the youth who make sacrifices and are making a difference. I also believe he would try to guide those who are somewhat mislead or going down the wrong path. During the two hour drive from Atlanta to Birmingham I sat on the bus thinking about how the freedom riders did this and how it wasn't just for a trip—it was to make a difference. When we hit the state line of Alabama, I saw a white cross with flags around it and I wondered what it was for. Was is it for the fallen soldiers? I also thought about the freedom riders having to sit on a bus for hours without air conditioning. Their sacrifices for our freedom today is humbling. After arriving at the 16th Street Baptist Church where the 4 young girls died in the the bombing, I was able to look at the church and imagine how sacred it was to them. I also couldn't help but imagine the fear that gripped them when they heard the church crumbling down.  I'm really beginning to understand the Civil Rights movement and the sacrifices that were made.
- Reina Tindle

Today is June 15th, 2014. It is the second day of our southern exploration. We left our hotel at 8:45 am and drove for four hours to Atlanta, Georgia. We went to Paschal’s Restaurant once we arrived in Atlanta, but we were unable to eat there due to communication complications. Instead of eating at Paschal’s we had to eat across the street at Burger King, I was really excited because I love Burger King. After we ate, we then went to the legendary Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr.’s family pastored. We then walked to Martin Luther King Jr.'s childhood home, but we were unable to enter the house. I was slightly mad because I wanted to tour the house. We then boarded the bus and headed to Birmingham, Alabama. Once we arrived in Birmingham, we met and interviewed civil rights activist, James Webb, at the legendary Kelly Ingram Park. We invited Webb out to dinner with us and back to our hotel. I really enjoyed our time with Mr. Webb.
- Trayona Lawrence

Today, in this long hot journey, we stopped in hot Atlanta, Georgia. We ate lunch at a Burger King though we were scheduled to eat at at Paschals, this really amazing, so I’m told, restaurant. However it was too crowded and would be a 2-hour wait. So we decided to go to Burger King. After, we visited Martin Luther King's baptist church where he preached, and we saw MLK’s old home. Then, we headed down to Birmingham, Alabama to visit the 16th Street Baptist Church, the scene  of the bombing that killed four young girls. What we got the chance to do—and I think this is amazing—we got to interview James Webb. He was a big part of the movement in the 60’s and was able to give us answers based on his experience. One thing he said he remembered was that his hardworking father came home one day, grabbed his weapon and said goodbye, because he was prepared to die and take the men who wouldn’t let him vote with him. He fortunately came back home alive because the white men understood his position. Personally, I think none of them wanted to get shot. 

He has been through and has seen so much growing up and one of the greatest things is that he lived to see such a day as this one.  After the interview, we all went down Dreamland Bar-B-Q, including Mr.Webb, and had a great dinner. Although I didn’t sit at the same table as Mr. Webb, I was told that he told very interesting stories of his past.
- Aaron Grice

Today is Sunday, June 15, 2014 and we are on our way to Atlanta, Georgia. We started our day in Atlanta with lunch at Burger King. Then we boarded the bus again for twelve minutes to go visit where Martin Luther King Jr. grew up including the church he attended. I'm not a very spiritual person but I was excited to be in his church. I was excited to know this is where his determination to change our country started. After leaving the church, we walked down the street one block to another Martin Luther King memorial. This one is where he is buried. Although I was slightly flustered at how my day was going, I was stilled happy to have the chance to finally see the place where he gets to lay peacefully knowing he changed the world for the better. I always wanted to visit Dr. King and Mrs. King's final resting place. I took many pictures so that I can always go visit their graves. Finally we walked another block to go see his childhood home. This was the disappointing part of the day because we didn't get to go inside and take a tour. In order to take a tour you you had to register. But we didn't have time to register or take the tour because we had to leave for Alabama. 

We did however get to take pictures in front of the house. Then we left Atlanta and set out for Kelly Ingram Park and the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The park and church are right across the street from each other so we didn’t have to do much traveling. However the church closed at 5pm and we arrived at 5:18. So we went to the park to interview James Webb, a well known civil rights activist. His stories about the movement were very interesting and he was very easy-going too. After the interview we invited Mr. Webb to dinner with us at Dreamland BBQ. Dinner with him was hilarious, he was constantly making jokes. He was interesting to have around.
- Briana Thomas

06/15/14. Journal Entry #2
Today was the second day of our trip as freedom riders. We first ate at Burger King because our plans at Pascals got messed up. After we ate, we got on the bus and went to Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, where he, his father and his grandfather preached. Next we went to the pool were he and his wife are buried. We also went to his house where he was born and raised. Lastly we ate at a restaurant called Dreamland. The food was delicious. I enjoyed today's mission.
-  Deandra Jackson  

Day 2 on our Freedom Rides tour we stopped in Atlanta, Georgia. In Atlanta we stopped at Burger King. The food was OK. After that we went the Martin Luther King Jr.'s church, Ebenezer Baptist Church. We self-guided our way through the church. It was very interesting, they were playing recordings of Dr. King giving a sermon. Then we went to the house where MLK grew up. We couldn't get a tour because we had to register for it and it was last minute. After that we drove to Birmingham, Alabama. There we interviewed James Webb, a civil rights leader. He was a protege of Martin Luther King. He was called to be an aide for MLK at the age of 16. Then we went to Dreamland BBQ. There was a sign on the wall that said NO FARTING. I thought that was pretty funny but they were so serious. The food was pretty awesome especially the Mac and Cheese. Now we are in our hotel room ready to call it a night.
- Rhonea Long

June 15, 2014 : Today we went to the church Martin Luther King Jr. attended when he was a child. He later became the pastor of the church. The church was located in Birmingham, Alabama, which in the 50’s and 60’s was a key city in the progression of the civil rights era. We also visited Atlanta, Georgia where we saw Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King’s grave and the eternal flame. We saw the house Martin Luther King was born in. Lastly, we visited Dreamland where the food was delicious. This was a great learning experience for me. I grown more humble with myself, by remembering where us people as blacks have come from.
- Kvonte Petty

Today we went to visit the church that Martin Luther King, Jr. attended. This is where he held his meetings on segregation. Then we went to his house. I’m not sure how that was significant, but I did like the fact that we got a chance to see how he lived before his assassination. Lastly we were able to interview a friend of his, Jimmy Webb, who gave us insight on how life was during the time of segregation and the activists’ mindsets. I was surprised to hear that they weren't afraid of death and embraced it.
- Jasmine Kibler

June 15, 2014.  After having lunch, we traveled to The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia to observe the remnants of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his remembrance. We then traveled to Birmingham, Alabama where we visited the 16th Street Baptist Church that was bombed and met and interviewed civil rights leader, James Webb. He told us about experiences in his life and facts about the park.
- Tamika Turner