Visiting A King


I closed out 2011 by taking a trip over to the King site. I’d heard about it numerous times however this was a surprise visit.

The moment I realized that I was standing in front of the house that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was born, I was flooded with emotions. My entire being shifted. It was no longer the end of 2011, I was standing in 1929. I time traveled through footsteps in my mind. What the porch would have looked like through young Martin’s eyes. Where did he trip and fall? Where did his eyes fall as he ran up the steps? Years removed yet I stood in that place and time and existed there at that moment.

I spent the next five hours in awe, taking in details, reliving moments, allowing my spirit to shift, to explore, to exist, to feel. Walking down the street, it was an experience of then and now. Who are we and how have we come so far to go back… so… far?

Nothing can describe what I felt like the moment I walked into (THE) Ebenezer Baptist Church! Are you serious? I’ve been here over a year and hadn’t made it here before. I have truly missed out but all in God‘s time… Walking into the sanctuary is such a feeling. There was this vent high up in the ceiling and there was that old baptist church fan sound. I don’t know how to describe it but if you’ve ever been to an old baptist church then you know the sound that i’m talking about. Just thinking of it takes me back to my childhood, the smell of the atmosphere, the feel of the time, the sound of the moment. I was there.

One of his sermons was playing in the background… I think this is about where I had a meltdown lol and my friend looked at me as if I was crazy. I was looking at her like she was crazy. Take off your hat in the sanctuary woman, don’t you feel the ancestors in the building. You are standing in a holy place in more ways that I can formulate the words to tell you. I digress… In my mind I could imagine those early sunday mornings, pews packed to the back door, hot and humid, perfumes and food lingering in the air, fans fanning, children absent minded and innocent in their youth, adults young and old sitting with a feeling of expectancy. Waiting… Waiting to hear/feel/see something. Hell, tired of waiting but believing.

I wish I could have lived through the civil rights movement. I would have marched and protested. I would have sat at counters and laid down in roads. I would have been willing to be hosed, beat, and murdered for my community, for our rights. I would have lived and died for something.

But back to the present. I managed to vanish and reappear in  the pulpit area. If you’ve ever been around me then people tell me a have I have gift of looking like i’m just supposed to “belong” somewhere…. lol, this has helped me make my way into quite a few VIPplaces. I didn’t step down into the Baptismal pool

but I walked up to it and took pictures.

I have to go back to the site so that I can finish the tour and take the rest of it in…

The last thing I want to talk about in this post (sure i’ll have another when I go back) is what it felt like seeing the wagon that carried his body. When I tell you that my spirit was so consumed with mourning. If was as if every tear cried over Dr. King had tattooed itself into the wagon. My heart hit rock bottom in that room.

Here are a few pics I took…

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5 thoughts on “Visiting A King

  1. I really appreciate the detailed description of your visit as well as your great pics!

    The following passages in particular stood out with me:

    “I spent the next five hours in awe, taking in details, reliving moments, allowing my spirit to shift, to explore, to exist, to feel. Walking down the street, it was an experience of then and now. Who are we and how have we come so far to go back… so… far?”

    “Take off your hat in the sanctuary woman, don’t you feel the ancestors in the building. You are standing in a holy place in more ways that I can formulate the words to tell you.”

    Yes indeed. And let the Church say…Amen.

    • Truthiz, I want to “like” your comment but this isn’t facebook so there isn’t a “like” button. lol. Thanks for always checking out my posts. I really appreciate it.

  2. It surprises me that you had never been before, especially knowing your spirit. I am glad you went and experienced it in the way you did. Truly everything happens on Gods time as it’s supposed to.

    “I wish I could have lived through the civil rights movement. I would have marched and protested. I would have sat at counters and laid down in roads. I would have been willing to be hosed, beat, and murdered for my community, for our rights. I would have lived and died for something.”

    Ms. Chaney, you don’t have to “wish” to have lived back then and be a part of the civil rights movement. There’s a movement that’s taking place right now that you are a part of. There’s work to be done now, in your lifetime. I would have loved to been there to see your spirit taking it all in, but the moment was yours not mine 🙂 In any case, I am glad you went.

    I love the pics. I’ve been to the exhibit many times and I can say your pics captured the feeling of the exhibit. My favorite…the two of you sitting in the church.

    • It was something that I wanted to visit long before I moved here but I didn’t want to take myself. I know, silly reason not to go somewhere but it ended up being at the perfect time. I needed a way to close out the year that mirrored the woman that I have become. There were people all around me, yet I was alone and reflective in that space.

      I still wish that I would have lived in that time. There is much work that needs to be done now but the focus has shifted to a time and place where the confusion is within out community and not from the outsides. Teens label me the cool “poet chic” and adults say I’m deep because I’m a poet. They rarely listen to what i’m really saying and these days, most people are more content being surface than the depth they can even imagine digging to.

      There is lots of work that must be done now but the difference between then and now is that people worked together towards a common purpose. They were not afraid of standing out, standing for something… hell just standing. It was less about self and more about purpose.

      I digress…

  3. “There is lots of work that must be done now but the difference between then and now is that people worked together towards a common purpose. They were not afraid of standing out, standing for something… hell just standing. It was less about self and more about purpose.

    I digress… […]

    Yes you did (“digress”) but go on and *TELL IT* anyhow Nykieria!!!

    It needs to be said!

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