Gosh, it’s been too long since we’ve updated this blog! There have been lots of nice changes in our lives over the last couple of months but despite good intentions to post frequently we clearly missed the mark for a few months.
But we’re back and ready to roar up for a fun-filled summer. This past weekend found us back in the beautiful city of Atlanta.
The more we make the trek to this southern city the more we love it. This Memorial Day weekend was primarily to hang out with family and celebrate the graduation of one of Cheril’s nieces, but we can’t go anywhere and stay in one place the whole time so we made it a touristy historical trip. The first stop after the celebrations came to an end was the famed Freedom Park in which the memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. is located.
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library is also located in the area, but more about that later. The first delve into the past was for our beloved Dr. King.
There aren’t enough words to describe how important this historic site is. Although almost everyone is familiar with Dr. King’s legacy, not everyone gets a chance to visit the home of his birth, or walk the same hallways he did, or see the furniture on which he, his siblings and several generations of their family sat. From his childhood home, to the museum overflowing with historical facts to his family and community’s sanctuary—Ebenezer Baptist Church—this is a must see for those passing through Atlanta.
No photos were allowed inside the King residence out of respect to the family and to preserve the original furniture inside. Pictures wouldn’t do it justice anyway. You need to experience it for yourself to truly understand the strength of generations of people who refused to be relegated to second class citizens, no matter the cost.
The next time you’re in ATL, do yourself a favor and visit this site if you haven’t already done so. Just be sure to leave your name at the visitor center early for tickets to MLK’s birth home. It’s a free tour but limited to 15 people and the tours fill up quickly. There were folks wandering around the property hoping to get in during our visit but the park ranger facilitating the tour was firm and locked the doors promptly after we were all inside. The last tour is at 4:00 so try to get on the list by before noon!
The next day we went to check out the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.
Okay, so we went to this because it was one of the few things in the city we hadn’t done yet. We went with Cheril’s mom and sister-in-law and admittedly, none of us new much about Jimmy Carter except that he was once president of the United States.
The museum and library was so much bigger and fascinating than we thought it would be. One could really spend hours in this place. A peanut farmer from rural Georgia, Carter was our 39th president who went to public schools, became a Navy veteran and served two terms as state senator before taking his seat in the White House.
His library and museum could either be called a time capsule or shrine–or both. lol This was the first time any of us had been to such a museum but it certainly won’t be the last. The photos, letters, gifts from other heads of state and audio/video materials were extremely fascinating–for both he and his wife Rosalynn Carter, who was a powerhouse on her own. The Carters were champions of the poor and minorities. They’ve built a legacy on bringing peace and respect to the world.
Our final stop was the brand new and deeply engaging…
This place is excellent and deserves a day of its own. We went after visiting the Carter museum and found doing both on the same day was pushing our endurance just a tad. There is so much to take in that doing them separately would have allowed more absorption. This center made a wide range of emotions rise in us. We were troubled, yet inspired. While it doesn’t shy away from the harsh days of the past (see if you can handle 1 minute at the recreation of a sit-in during Jim Crow), it does an excellent job of showing how we can do something to impact the present and future.
At risk of making this blog any longer than it already is, we’re going to wrap it up here and say that once again the peachy city did not disappoint. And if our long weekend there wasn’t enough, we ended up getting a few seconds of fame in the airport on the way out. lol Check us out on Channel 2 news with Sophia Choi. Don’t blink or you’ll miss our little interview around the 1:00 minute mark! haha.
Until next time…