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Sweet Home Alabama [Document Subtitle]

Spring 2012


Sweet Home Alabama

Lynyrd Skinner

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=‐Du‐CWASm20  1, 2, 3 Turn it up Big wheels keep on turning Carry me home to see my kin Singing songs about the Southland I miss Alabama once again And I think it's a sin, yes Well, I heard Mr. Young sing about her Well, I heard ol' Neil put her down Well, I hope Neil Young will remember A Southern man don't need him around anyhow Sweet home Alabama Where the skies are so blue Sweet home Alabama Lord, I'm coming home to you In Birmingham they love the governor, boo boo boo Now we all did what we could do Now Watergate does not bother me Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth Sweet home Alabama Where the skies are so blue Sweet home Alabama Lord, I'm coming home to you Here I come, Alabama Ah ah ah Alabama, ah ah ah Alabama, ah ah ah Alabama, ah ah ah Alabama Now Muscle Shoals has got the swampers And they've been known to pick a song or two (Yes, they do!) Lord, they get me off so much They pick me up when I'm feeling blue, now how about you? Sweet home Alabama Where the skies are so blue Sweet home Alabama Lord, I'm coming home to you Sweet home Alabama, oh, sweet home baby Where the skies are so blue and the governor's true Sweet home Alabama, Lordy Lord, I'm coming home to you, yeah yeah Montgomery's got the answer


Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund A gorgeously detailed, deeply felt panorama of Birmingham during the turmoil of the civil rights struggle in the 1960s. Her compelling cast of characters includes four strong women: Stella and Cat are white, idealistic and appalled by the discrimination and violence tearing their city apart. They become involved with the freedom fighters. Christine and Gloria are black and yearning to fulfill their dreams and reach their potential in an explosive era. In Birmingham, Alabama, twenty-year-old Stella Silver, an idealistic white college student, is sent reeling off her measured path by events of 1963. Combining political activism with single parenting and night-school teaching, African American Christine Taylor discovers she must heal her own bruised heart to actualize meaningful social change. Inspired by the courage and commitment of the civil rights movement, the child Edmund Powers embodies hope for future change. In this novel of maturation and growth, Naslund makes vital the intersection of spiritual, political, and moral forces that have redefined America. Discussion Topics 1. Two quotations, one from William Faulkner and one from Victoria Gray, an African-American Mississippi civil rights activitist, mark the beginning of Four Spirits. What is the contemporary relevance of these epigraphs? In what way is America's past still present? Has the promise of a "rich harvest" been fulfilled? 2. The novel's prelude presents the only scenes in which Stella's parents are with her in the present, rather than with her through memories. In what way do the events of that day both disable and sustain her throughout her life? 3. Discuss the concept of destiny in terms of the book's characters. T.J., for example, survived combat overseas and returned home to become a protector in his community. Yet he lost his job when he attempted to register to vote. Lee became embroiled in her husband's violent plots and eventually needed Aunt Pratt to help her find the way home (literally and symbolically). How does a combination of choice and chance create the fates of such characters as Catherine, Gloria, Lionel, Jonathan, and Stella? 4. How do each of the three men in Stella’s life contribute to her growth throughout the novel? 5. The author gives us an unflinching glimpse of a Klansman's perspective. What motivates Ryder to torture innocent strangers, as well as his wife? In your opinion, what are the roots of this behavior in general? 6. The act of mentoring is crucial to many of the novel's characters. During his youth, Edmund strove to be one of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's protégés; Catherine finds inspiration in her brother; Christine attempts to mentor Gloria. Who has been your mentor? What would you like to teach future generations about life? 7. Christine, Arcola, Catherine, and Charles make a heavy sacrifice together at the White Palace. What can society do to ensure that they didn't die in vain, and that such bloodshed will be not be repeated in the future? 8. Four Spirits is filled with intriguing cameo characters, such as department store owner Mr. Fielding, many aunts, and the waiter who dances with Catherine. What makes even these minor roles significant in the context of this particular storyline? About the Author Winner of the Harper Lee Award, Sena Jeter Naslund is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories, including the critically acclaimed national bestseller Ahab's Wife. She is a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville, program director of the Spalding University brief-residency MFA in writing in Louisville and 2003 Vacca Professor at the University of Montevallo, Alabama. She is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, educated in the public schools, Birmingham-Southern College, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

   


Day One: Birmingham  

       


Wednesday evening: The Tutwiler  

   

Dinner for three…


Thursday morning: African American Heritage in Birmingham Few achievements in the past half century compare in importance with the American Civil Rights Movement. Few cities played as prominent a role in the movement as Birmingham. The Birmingham Civil Rights District is a six block tribute to the monumental fight for human rights in this country.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 520 Sixteenth Street North Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-5 The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) is a "living institution" which views the lessons of the past as a positive way to chart new directions for the future. BCRI's permanent exhibitions are a self-directed journey through the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement and human rights struggles. Multi-media exhibitions focus on the history of African-American life and the struggle for civil rights. Visitors experience for themselves the drama of this courageous story as it is told in the permanent galleries. Patrons walk through the exciting exhibitions from the era of segregation to the Movement and all of the historic events that took place in Birmingham. The Human Rights Gallery takes the visitor Beyond Birmingham to look at human issues around the world. The institute is more than a museum, it is a center for education, research and discussion about civil and human rights issues.

Fourth Avenue Business District Fourth Avenue North from 15th to 18th Street The neighborhood along Fourth Avenue from 15th to 18th Streets North developed as the city's black business district in the early part of the 1900s. Forced out by Jim Crow segregation and white-owned stores that did not welcome them as customers, AfricanAmerican businessmen established their own retail, social and cultural center here. Black-owned banks, mortuaries, movie theaters and nightclubs flourished along the corridor through the 1960s. Some continue to this day. 

                 


Thursday afternoon: Montgomery  

     

Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956) http://mlk­kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_montgomery_bus_boycott_1955_1956/ 


Southern Poverty Law Center http://www.splcenter.org/

Wall of Tolerance

The Wall of Tolerance digitally displays the names of more than half a million people who have pledged to take a stand against hate and work for justice and tolerance in their daily lives. Their names flow continuously down the 20-by-40 foot wall within the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Alabama. Visitors to the Civil Rights Memorial Center have the opportunity to take the pledge and add their names to the Wall during their visit. By placing my name on the Wall of Tolerance, I pledge to take a stand against hate, injustice and intolerance. I will work in my daily life for justice, equality and human rights - the ideals for which the Civil Rights martyrs died.


Civil Rights Memorial http://www.splcenter.org/civil-rights-memorial

Chicago Children's Choir at the Civil Rights Memorial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lWzNxVDHfo&feature=player_embedded

Listen & Learn

Civil Rights Audio Tour

Self-guided walking/driving tour of Montgomery’s Civil Rights sites: • Montgomery Area Visitor Center in Historic Union Station • Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church • Civil Rights Memorial & Civil Rights Memorial Center • Rosa Parks Library & Museum and Children’s Wing • Freedom Rides Museum


To the sea…   

                               


Alabama One