Birmingham Postcard and The Promised Land

i-see-the-promised-land_book-coverHere’s a tribute to Black History Month first published by Zocalo. It’s a mini account of my observations and experiences in Birmingham, my first time to visit the Civil Rights Museum, the 16th Street Baptist Church, and meeting the god of forge.

On a Sunday, in that baptist church with its red cushioned chairs, I sat in the chair that had welcomed Martin Luther King, Jr., and listened to the energetic, soulful singing, feeling transported to a time in the past, a time before I was even conceived. I felt one with history, the present, and the future. Everything flowed seamlessly back and forth, there was no boundary separating the three. I had to pinch myself to know where I was and was not. In that moment I understood the impression of liminal spaces, when the curtain wall cracks just enough to let in a little light for one to perceive briefly another lifetime. I looked into the mosaic glass window (now restored) that had splintered as the bomb exploded that September day in 1963, claiming those four young girls. I glanced around me and wondered how I came to be so lucky to be in the past and present at the same time. I said a prayer for little girls who are still growing and don’t know the terrible times that befell those who came before them. I prayed for the little boys too, that amongst them we might have as many Kings as seashells on the shore… To read more, click here.

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