Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., June 26
The Kelly Ingram Park is the gateway to Birmingham, Alabama’s Civil Rights District. I walked the park this summer with a 10-year old and a 14-year-old. Learning about the '60s civil rights movement in a book at school doesn’t quite convey the same message as actually completing the Freedom Walk in this park. The sculptures make quite a statement! During the 1960s this park was a meeting place for grassroots racism resistance groups and march organizers. Sculptures in the park recollect attacks on the demonstrators, children jailed for their involvement in the protests, and the clergy's important role in the Movement. In sharp contrast to the scenes of the 60s, paths along the Freedom Walk converge at a peaceful, reflective fountain, a life spring of hope. Few achievements in the past half century compare in importance with the American Civil Rights Movement and few cities played as prominent a role in the movement as Birmingham.
November 2, 2009