Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day 2: From Gospel to Rasta

The group in front of the King Memorial.
We started out this cloudy Sunday by driving to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. We walked around and read his quotes on the walls which led to a discussion about the difference between "MLK the Civil Rights Leader" and "MLK the Human Rights Leader". We found it interesting that the quotes overwhelmingly portrayed him as the human rights leader and not the civil rights leader and why the National Park Service chose to portray him in that light. We also discussed that Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't do what he did by himself and we suspected that he would agree with that. To that end, we thought that there probably should be memorials to people such as Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth, John Lewis, Diane Nash and many others right next to King's.
Jinling and Carmen at the King Memorial.

From there we travelled to Asbury United Methodist Church. Asbury UMC has been a black congregation occupying the same location at 11th and K Street NW since 1864. The sermon, titled "I'm Pressing", was given by Rev. Herbert A. Brisbon from Howard University. He gave a fiery sermon about how you can't let your past hold you back and that you need to keep pressing forward to become the person that you were meant to be. The ministers were thrilled that there were so many college students attending the service. In addition to us, there were three other groups of students there from Kansas, Texas and also Howard University.

After the service, we went to lunch in Chinatown with Asbury Youth Pastor Scott Bostic; Jesse James, who organizes Asbury's monthly breakfast for the homeless; and a Wesley Seminary student that also works with outreach. They discussed the need for the church to put action behind their words and do good for their neighbors in need.
Min. Bostic and Rosalie discussing the history of Asbury UMC.

Thaddeus talks about the importance of the church
in the Civil Rights Movement as Brittany listens.

We then walked to the Museum of the American Indian. We went our separate ways inside the museum to see what we wanted see. I will be interested in what kind of things were of interest to the students when we have our next reflection time Monday evening.
Some of the students at the
Museum of the American Indian.

Finally, we finished the evening at Blues Alley Jazz Supper Club where we were treated to a terrific New Orleans inspired dinner and the Corey Harris Rasta Blues Experience. Tomorrow we will be visiting the National Leadership Conference and then having lunch with Professor Susan Reed who is running the Spring 2016 Bucknell in D.C.  program. We will also be visiting the National Museum of American History and have some free time to explore the area around the National Mall.

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