Day Two

Good Evening! It is currently 11:10 PM in Little Rock Arkansas, and it had been quite an eventful day! This morning we woke up at 7am and ate bagels and fruit for breakfast. Soon after, we loaded our vans with luggage and were able to talk with Reverend Hubbard at St. Joseph’s at Emmanuel. We learned about how over the past 27 years, he and his wife were able to build up a year round camp for kids at the church (in a part of Memphis with a previously high crime rate). In addition, we were also able to speak with 4 girls who attend the camp and are going into 8th and 9th grade. I was amazed and inspired by their willingness to share their stories and goals with our group (some of which included attending Harvard, Yale, and becoming a successful rapper) even though we had just met. After our talk with the people at St. Joseph’s, our group split into two vans and rode to the National Civil Rights Museum (also in Memphis, Tennessee). The museum had many different sections, all of which were interesting and moving. I learned many new things, but was most interested by the “Doll Test” conducted by Kenneth and Mamie Clark), which helped show psychology of segregation and was later used in Brown v. Board of Education. The National Civil Rights Museum is built where the Lorraine Motel previously stood, allowing us to see the room(s) where MLK stayed before he was assassinated as well as the balcony where he actually was assassinated; visiting “the Balcony at Room 306” is definitely something I will always remember. After we visited the museum, our group walked to a BBQ restaurant just down the street. At “Central BBQ” I ordered a pulled pork sandwich (with cole slaw in it) and opted for water while many people in the group drank sweet tea. We then left Memphis and took a 2 1/2 hour ride to Little Rock, Arkansas, where we are currently staying at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. We spoke with Hannah Hooker, a longtime friend of Ben Linder and Malcolm McLaurin, who is an assistant Rev. at a church in Little Rock. She told us about what being a Southerner means to her, but also talked about how it is important to acknowledge how people are different, and that certain issues (such as racism) exist everywhere. I really enjoyed talking with her, and hope that we will have more of these types of talks later on in the trip. We ate pizza for dinner, and a few of my friends and I walked up to the courtyard/garden at the church and watched the fireflies outside. I have had a great day today, and am excited to explore Little Rock tomorrow. Goodnight! -Maria Gonzalez