Civil Rights Trail

Getting Ready

There are a number of ways that I have been getting ready for this upcoming trip. One of them is by reading.

Because I am mortal and because there are only 24 hours in the day and because there are other things to do in life, I have not read as much as I theoretically could. Also, some of my reading will be listening to books on tape and podcasts while I drive, which will be A LOT, as you can see from these approximate maps of the two legs of my journey.

Reading.  Non-fiction. Memoir. Poetry. Would love to read fiction, but haven’t found the right novel (feel free to recommend). These are some of the ways that I am preparing before I leave and as I am traveling.

I was so moved by the stories in Selma, Lord, Selma were. It is the accounts of two young women, Sheyann Webb and Rachel West Nelson, who as 8- and 9-year-olds were drawn into the voter registration actions in 1965 Selma, drawing their families in along with them. They were interviewed over a period of our years, from 1975-1979; the journalist (Frank Sikora) who put together the book does a first-rate effort of centering their experiences as children and putting forth their voice and perspective. First-rate activists, changing the justice landscape of our nation, as well as forever changed themselves. I’m thankful to my friend Sherwood who gave me his copy after he learned of my plans. By the end of the books, I was crying for what the two girls endured and was encouraged by their fierce clarity.

Listening. Books. Podcasts. I think I will re-listen to White Lies, which I once used as sacred text for a sermon. It is about the murder of Unitarian minister James Reeb in Selma in the days after Bloody Sunday in 1965.

I cannot speak more highly of this interview with Colette Pichon Battle by Krista Tippett at On Being, recently published.  Based on it, I’ll be watching Ms. Battle’s TED talk on climate change. Now that I’ve heard her speak, she is one of the voices that will be informing me and accompanying me. I’m grateful to have her along.

I’ll be blogging about this book and its significance to the Lost Souls in a separate post

There are other ways that I am preparing, including some less serious (for instance I got my first pedicure of the season yesterday). My departure date is in just a few days and it’s warm there – high 70s/low 80s – just right for sandals weather. Toes got to look good if they are going to peek out!

“Moses supposes his toeses are roses but Moses supposes erroneously. For nobody’s toeses are poesies of roses as Moses supposes his toeses to be.”

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