First Day

Today was an auspicious start to our ten-day Alabama immersion trip, as we drove approximately 673 miles in ten hours, passing through a grand total of six states. We only made five pit stops, including one in Greensboro, NC (more on that later!). We also celebrated our dear group member Laura’s birthday!

Our stop in Greensboro was our activity of the day that was related to the Civil Rights Movement. It was definitely a great introduction to our itinerary for the rest of the trip, as we visited the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The museum is located in the heart of Greensboro, housed in the old Woolworths, where the first sit-ins of the Civil Rights movement occurred. Being there was incredibly powerful. The way our tour guide led us through the museum was reminiscent of the psychological effects that Jim Crow laws had on African-Americans back before the Civil Rights movement. The layout of the museum was confusing, crammed, and our guide was forever telling us where we could and couldn’t go. Near the end of the tour, she pointed this out to us. We were also bid to see ourselves as a piece of the movement, and to continue affecting change in the world to change it for good.

Not only the layout of the museum was interesting – so was the content. We got a general overview of the movement as a whole, which will really help as we delve further into it over the next several days. It was also good to see that many important segments of the Civil Rights movement didn’t necessarily start or happen in the Deep South – instead, it was all over the United States.

After our stop in Greensboro, we continued our journey south. Dinner was absolutely fantastic. We stopped at a chain that none of us had heard of before called Zaxby’s. They specialize in chicken items on their menu. It was definitely a cultural experience – Zaxby’s was the epitome of a Southern cultural experience. Apparently, it’s a chain with over 500 restaurants in twelve southeast states. We fretted for awhile over what their special “Zax Sauce” tasted liked – and ultimately decided upon pizza-flavored Combos – and enjoyed the comforts of southern home cooking, fast-food style. We also decided to bring the Zaxby’s franchise up to Gettysburg, but maybe minus the Zax Sauce.

That brings you, dear reader, up to speed with our trip thus far. Tune in tomorrow (or the morning after) for our adventures in Atlanta, and our drive to Birmingham!

– Signe

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