PLSC Civil Rights Pilgrimage Day 3

Church services always give me a lot of anxiety. Stevens Chapel was not really any
different. I appreciated how welcoming everyone was at the chapel. I always wonder about the
longevity of older churches in small towns like Philadelphia. Many times, the church is the
community center and the site of political resistance. I am not a religious person, but I
understand the value of places of worship in communities. The message that Professor Jordan
gave resonated with me, and I felt like the whole community was really inclusive. The patron’s
of the church did a lot to dissuade my anxiety when they hugged us as we entered and left. I
grew up in a Baptist Church, so I understand most of the stories from the Bible, but the
interpretation of the story of Cain and Abel was very different from how I understood it before. It
gave me a lot to think about, and I had never thought about the question, “where is your
brother?” I think that is especially important to consider today. I personally spend so much time
trying to be “independent.” I want to take care of myself, and not receive any help from anyone.
However, I was reminded that I do need to ask for help.
“Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you have to do is put it on.” Professor
Jordan told us to be interdependent. At the monument for the Little Nine, there is also a call for
interdependence. The plaque of Melba Pattillo-Beals reads: “The task that remains is to embrace
our interdependence–to see ourselves reflected in every other human being, and to respect and
honor differences.” We need to start taking care of America again. Me and mine is nothing
without you and yours.
At Mount Zion United Methodist Church, I learned how real the violence of the
Movement is. It is hard to understand just how traumatic the beating of your mother, father, or
brother can be until you listen to someone recount the whole story to you. A lot of people
thought it was really honest and vulnerable of Evelyn Cole Calloway to admit that she does not
know if she could forgive her father’s attacker like her father did. I too find admire that she
would admit this to us, but what really struck me about listening to Evelyn Cole Calloway and
Jewel McDonald was how they lost their childhood and innocence that night. I imagine that
neither women can shake the images of when their families arrived home bloodied and beaten
from a white supremacist attack. How many more children experienced the same thing? There
are so much more victims of white supremacist violence than just the ones they laid their hands
on. From that day forward, the terrorism of the KKK could not be hidden from those two young
Song: i — Kendrick Lamar