Yesterday I took another bus trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which means that over the last year I have been three times.
This trip was organized by one of my heroes, Cole Jordan who happens to be a counselor at the community college that I seem to be stuck at (just 3 more classes, then off to the university). Cole contacted me about 2 weeks ago to tell me about the trip & while doing so, he informed me that he was unable to secure a tour guide for his group of 50. He then informed me that his wife & one of my sheroes Diane Benton was going to coordinate walk through the museum without an educational guide which is when I stepped in to help turn things around.
So days later, I was able to secure Rev. L.D. (Doug) Ervin to guide us through the Freedom Center. This was pretty big because Doug has his own church now which makes his time very limited & it goes without doubt that he is the most knowledgeable volunteer guide that the Freedom Center has.
Fast forward to yesterday about noon: We are now at the Freedom Center & I get to see my good buddy Doug. Wait!!! I need to mention that I met Doug last year when I took a group to the Freedom Center, which consisted primarily of members from my Black History class led by another shero, Dahia Shabaka. Doug was our guide then & since has been a person who helps to keep me grounded.
On this trip, Doug did his thing & made the experience very memorable as he made the image of slavery “come to life”.
While this was my 3rd trip to the Freedom Center, it was the 1st time I had the opportunity to have the information actually sink in. By this I mean, the 1st time I went, I was in so much awe by what I saw & read it was almost too much to process. The 2nd time I went, I led a group & when you’re organizing, who has time to process fine details. I was very focused on keeping things organized & on task.
After we completed our time at the Freedom Center, we headed for Newport on the Levee for dinner. So my group debated & negotiated for about 15 minutes on a restaurant choice & after this mini drama we settled at Johnny Rockets for burgers & fries.
Dinner was more than dinner on this occasion. There were 8 people at my table that was meant for about 4, which made it fun! We said we were eating community style & no one would be left out (imagine if life was like this 365/24-7). At dinner, we talked about everything from African names (almost everyone at the table had one), to segregation/desegregation, DNA testing up to Shaquanda Cotton (it would have been fun if we had the time to discuss reparations (another hot debatable topic)).
I wish I had the opportunity to have more meals like this (preferably with more healthy cuisine).
It was a good enlightening Friday!
Here are some snapshots from the trip, please enjoy.