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Alabama Reflector: Covering the pain and promise of our home
The pain and promise of Alabama collide on Dexter Avenue, the heart of Montgomery.
“How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?” Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who knew Dexter Avenue, said that day. “I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because ‘truth crushed to earth will rise again.’”
In Alabama, America confronts itself. The state’s past is choked with elites who brutally and unapologetically used the public trust to serve themselves and keep their neighbors in line. They viewed the common good with suspicion, and those advocating it as traitors.
Many more Alabamians rejected these terms. Braving the wrath of former slaveholders, newly-emancipated communities built a public school system after the Civil War. A multiracial coalition rose in 1892 in a doomed but valiant effort to restore republican government to Alabama. King; Parks, E.D. Nixon, Amelia Boynton, John Lewis and thousands of other courageous souls resisted the darkness of Jim Crow, preserving a flame that they would build into a sunrise.