all photos in this essay by Casey McDaniel
On July 18th Young people enrolled in The King Center's N.O.W. (Nonviolence Opportunity Watch) Encounter Youth Nonviolence Camp pose for a group photo on the steps of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor when he was chosen as the spokesman for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The youth traveled by bus to Montgomery from Atlanta as part of their tour of historic sites of the American Civil Rights Movement.
In photo below, the delegation of teens from Cyprus poses with King Center CEO Bernice A. King (6th from right) in front of the church. The Cypriot youth of Greek and Turkish heritage participated in the N.O.W. Encounter to learn about Dr. King's philosophy and methods of nonviolence and conflict-reconciliation to help empower them to become agents for peace and goodwill between different ethnic communities in their homeland.
Pictured above: Enrollees in the King Center's "N.O.W. Encounter: Kingian Nonviolence in Action" Youth Nonviolence Summer Camp 2nd session listen to Ms. Shirley Cherry, tour director of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church Parsonage Museum as she tells the group about Dr. King's "kitchen table experience," right where it happened.
Pictured below, a historical marker tells the story of the Bombing of the King's home during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Below, Ms. Doris Crenshaw, Founder and C.E.O. of the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute, addresses camp participants in the Institute's headquarters, which was also the headquarters of the Montgomery Improvement Association (M.I.A.) during the Civil Rights Movement. This room was where the Movement's organizers, including Dr. King, coordinated the Montgomery Bus Boycott, carpools and nonviolence training sessions that made the protest an historic success and launched Dr. King's career as the leader of the American Civil Rights movement.
After completing the tour of Montgomery's historic sites, the camp youth boarded the busses and went to Birmingham to visit sites of the Birmingham campaign of 1963, in which city-wide protests drew intensive national television coverage for the first time and city jails were filled with hundreds of protestors, including children.
Below, at The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, camp youth view a film about the African American community of Birmingham at the time of the '63 protest.
Below, City Councilman Jay Roberson, co-founder of Birmingham's "100 Days of Nonviolence" explains the project to camp youth at the Brmingham Civil Rights Museum.
Above, Councilman Roberson joins N.O.W. Encounter campers, faculty, administrators for a group photo on the steps of Birmingham's historic Sixteenth St. Baptist Church, where four little girls, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair, were killed in a bombing by white supremacists on September 15, 1963. The Church served as the organizational headquarters, site of mass meetings and rallying point for African American protesers in Birmingham in the Spring of 1963. Below is a close-up photo of the same group.
Below, King Center CEO Bernice A. King addresses N.O.W. Encounter campers on the steps of the Sixteenth St. Baptist Church, explaining the significance of the Birmingham Movement. Also pictured, Charles Alphin (at left, in cap) lead instructor for the N.O.W. Encounter and Councilman Roberson (at right, in suit).
Below: Looking forward to a brighter future, a young N.O.W. Encounter camper addresses the group in front of the Sixteenth St. Baptist Church, sharing what he has learned about the Movement and Dr. King's teachings as a result of the tour of Alabama civil rights sites, as King Center CEO Bernice A. King, Councilman Roberson and other campers and administrators listen.