Sunday, November 10, 2013

ON THE WAY: Montgomery, Ala.

Apart from the usual beauty of a historic capitol city, Montgomery also holds some of the most important Civil Rights Movement landmarks in our country. The main north/south street running through downtown is Decatur, which is one block west of the Capitol and crosses Dexter Ave., home of the famous Dexter Avenue (now) King Memorial Baptist Church, where the great man was twentieth pastor. The site has been a church since 1879, and Dr. King directed the Montgomery Bus Boycott from his office there. I was overwhelmed to attend Rosa Park’s funeral here before she was honored at a ceremony in Washington DC. There is now a museum on the site as well.

One block south of Dexter is Washington Avenue, where you can see the Civil Rights Memorial and visit the attached center. The Memorial was designed by Maya Lin, and honors those who died during the Civil Rights Movement (the years between the Brown v. Board decision in 1954 and Dr. King's assassination in 1968). Visiting the memorial is free; admission to the center is $2 for adults. Just north of the Capitol a couple of blocks is Oakwood Cemetery, where Hank Williams Sr. and his wife Audrey are buried.

If you have time, and want some really good Caribbean food, continue south on Decatur and head west on Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway. Cross over I-65 and continue west on Day St. Turn left on Air Base Blvd and you'll see Island Delight.

If you have less time, continue south on Decatur, and the road becomes Norman Bridge (you'll pass by Alabama State University). On the left in the Old Cloverdale neighborhood you'll find Derk's Filet and Vine.

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