Middle School Alabama Odyssey 2017 Day 3

Day 3 – Friday

Joe Minter –“Africa in America”

Gip’s Place – Henry Gipson 3101 Ave C Bessemer (last juke joint in Alabama)

LaQuita and students at Wilkerson Middle School

On to Selma

Dinner with our hosts – Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation at

Healing Waters Retreat Center

[Going to see Joe Minter] felt like a tributary timeline to all of the people who fought for their rights mixed within landmarks of the world’s history. His connection to God could be seen in each piece of art in the yard and the relationship between his works and religion as so clear. -Lucy F.

Through the Blues he spoke, and through our hearts we listened. -Mason

“No black, no white, just the blues.” Henry Gipson’s catch phrase resonates in my ears, uttered by a bellowing, spirited voice, a voice to match the unstoppable soul of the ninety-seven year-old musician. Reading the phrase my mind has the touch of a little instrumental at the end, a twang of foot-tapping, head-bobbing, musical chaos. A twinkle in the eyes of a weathered man sparks a smile on the faces of twenty-five kids. -Magda

My favorite part of the day was talking to the kids from the other school… It made me think about these kids growing up black, knowing their history, and knowing what they wanted. One thing I remember that Jordan said was, “We hold the key to our future.” -Zoe

I’m excited and nervous to meet with Joanne Bland tomorrow. Talking with the kids today I thought a lot about it, and realized that we were learning about our history so that we can move forward, and except what people did in the past and think about that when trying to make progress in the future.

– Emmy