Our first full day in Atlanta began with a bus tour of the city. The group was fortunate to have the lovely Mrs. Richardson as everyone was able to learn a little something from her vast knowledge of Atlanta. Highlights of the bus ride included the Governor’s home, the CNN center, the Georgia Dome, the 1996 Summer Olympics Village and Centennial park. The first stop on the tour was at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park, the most visited tourist attraction in Atlanta. We first visited the tombs of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King. Then we moved into Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where King’s father preached. In the church we were fortunate to meet a dynamic park ranger who had been to jail with King and was active in the fight for freedom. He spoke on the sacrifice that was made by countless of unnamed Americans of all hues so that we could all gather as one today. We took his powerful words with us to our next stop at Morehouse College, where we visited the school’s chapel. We were greeted by a statue of King, pointing us forward. Behind it was his famous “I Have A Dream” speech on the wall of the chapel. Inside the chapel we were awed by the oil paint portraits of various leaders, which included King and his wife.
The last stop of the tour was at the Wren’s nest, home of C.J. Harris. As we toured the home, the class was able to learn about Harris and storytelling.
After lunch, the class decided to visit an ATL hot spot, the Atlanta Underground. The Atlanta Underground is a mall beneath the streets of the city. With a street alley vibe, the Underground contained novelty shops, urban clothing stores, an arcade, nightclubs, a visitor’s center, and many restaurants and eateries, to include the Coca-Cola inspired Johnny Rockets, home of the original hamburger.
Some really good food came later in the evening. The class was invited to the McIntyre home for a delicious home cooked meal cooked by Mrs. McIntyre. With stomached filled, the group gathered in the family room for an experience we will never forget. After a brief reflection on our trip, Mrs. McIntyre took advantage of the talented minds in our group and encouraged us to share our talents amongst each other. The McIntyre family began with a beautiful rendition of “Perfect Praise.” Royce kept the energy alive with a powerful solo performance. Professor Timmerman, Trey, Marcus, and Alex spoke from their minds and shared their thoughts with the group. Through them the group was able to contemplate on brotherhood, greed, and bringing people together. Dustin also shared his original poetry which left the whole room snapping praise and approval. The evening was definitely a bonding moment for the people on this trip and none wanted to leave the warm atmosphere of the McIntyre house. Mrs McIntyre made sure we knew her door is always open. It was a great ending to a full first day. We all went to bed excited for what our second day in Atlanta had in store.