Weeden House Museum – Huntsville, Alabama

I throughly enjoyed my visit to the Weeden House Museum.  There are a lot of interesting things to see and the tour guide did a fabulous job.

The Weeden House was built in 1819, by H.C. Bradford.  The intricate woodwork and the federal architectural style is stunning.  The Weeden family owned the home from 1845 to 1956.

Maria Howard Weeden (1846-1905) lived in this house her entire life.  She was a poet and an artist.  Maira was particularly interested in the lives of the black people she encountered on a regular basis.  She was bothered by the way they were treated and wanted to give them a voice in the world.

Maria Howard Weeden painted realistic portraits of the black people, instead of the cartoonish images that were popular during the Reconstruction period.

Maria also spent hours talking to the black people she painted, so she could learn their life stories.

Maria used poetry to expose the horrible circumstances of their lives.  The rhythm and cadence reflected the positive personalities of the people, in spite of their lifelong suffering.

Maria Howard Weeden was truly a woman ahead of her time.

Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery

There is a monument at the Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery in honor of the slaves buried on the property.

The slaves were viewed as sub-human, so they were placed in graves with no headstones or makers of any kind.  There is no way to know who is buried here or even the exact number of people buried on this land.

We all know about the horrible existence of many slaves.  They were traded like cattle, beaten by their owners, and had less rights than my dogs do today.

I like to go to the cemetery from time to time.  It helps me remember the past and what can happen when we start judging people based on their race, religion, ethnic group, sexual orientation, or anything else that may make that person different from us.

 

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Vulcan Park – Birmingham, Alabama

Vulcan Park is located at the top of a mountain in Birmingham, Alabama.  It is home to the largest iron statue in the world, which locals like to call The Original Iron Man.

Visitors can take an elevator up to a walkway near the top of the statue.  The view of Birmingham from there is breathtaking.

Vulcan Park also includes a museum that explains the role of iron production during the industrial revaluation and how Sloss Furnace (a facility that produced iron and steel) was responsible for the massive growth of the city of Birmingham.

Civil Rights Institute – Birmingham, Alabama

The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, is an amazing museum and educational center.  As you view the exhibits, you can hear the personal stories of  numerous people involved in the civil rights movement.

I was walking through the museum, and I was struck by the courage and solidarity of those fighting for equality.  I was also struck by the ignorance and hatred of those fighting against equality.

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If we are wrong, the Supreme Court is wrong.

If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong.

If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.