Throughout the journey, I was moved by Martin Luther King’s words, sickened by the statues of Jefferson Davis and Dr. J. Marion Sims, and inspired by the work of the Equal Justice Initiative.
…But as you visit the growing number of museums, so many other names recur. Ella Baker was the granddaughter of a slave and is considered the mother of the civil rights movement. She did it quietly, but with incredible efficiency. A teacher named Jo Ann Robinson organized the critical bus boycott of 1955. Diane Nash was a key strategist behind SNCC. (“Who the hell is Diane Nash?” asked Attorney General Robert Kennedy when he heard she was resuming the Freedom Rides.) Viola Liuzzo was murdered by the KKK in 1965 for driving registered voters to the polls. Ida B. Wells and Margaret Walker were educators/writers whose words mattered. Walker’s in particular, still resonate: “The word of fire burns today. On the lips of our prophets in an evil age.”