Last Day in Montgomery, Alabama

This morning, we went to the Farmers Market Cafe. Everywhere we ate, people would ask if we were from Montgomery. Perhaps it was just an icebreaker in a town of less than 200,000.

An egg and cheese biscuit sandwich and a pancake to share was the call. Good coffee, too!

One of us came in a day later, so she had not seen the park, which is an absolute must, so we dropped her off while we headed to a farmers market. This one is open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. We were told that it was much busier on Saturday. FYI, nothing here is regulated. There are signs at every farmer’s booth noting that the products (jams, soups, pickled veggies, etc.) were not made in a government-regulated location, so you are on your own.

We met a few of the locals. This woman was lovely, and we bought her local sweet, delicious strawberries and freshly shelled pecans.

The tea man was great. I bought two teas for the summer months: fresh ginger root and Georgia peach.

We picked up our friend and visited the National Memorial of Peace and Justice. Here you can take pictures. This museum is dedicated to lynching victims. Once again, the names, the stories, and the art all give a powerful punch to the gut. You enter the structure that has large rectangular pieces of iron hanging over an outlined rectangle that the hanging piece could fit into if it dropped.

Each piece is etched with a lynching victim, the year it happened, and the city/county and state. These are only the people that they can find through massive research.

You can hear water as you pass all the hanging structures, which get higher as you walk through.

When you turn the corner, there is a wall that rotates water, which I thought must represent the tears shed. It is an ode to the names of people they will never know who have left no history.

As you continue through the mile loop, I looked back at the new section of graves in front of me and the large lynching structure behind me. The chosen materials have begun to patina throughout the museum, which lends itself to the long, dark, covered history of slavery.

It was our last stop, although we did call in an order to Martins Restaurant for some more fried chicken. This time, the place was packed. While we waited, we got a glimpse at the gravy, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and heaps of fried chicken serving the locals.

This trip has taken me a few days to process. I now look at the world with a completely different set of eyes. America’s horrifying history of targeting Black people who had been kidnapped from Africa has left trauma in our country that still reverberates today. These Legacy Sites are a step in the right direction that more of this country and the world need to see. Our history is what too many would want us not to believe. That must change. Everyone needs to bare witness.