Sunday, August 26, 2018

Birmingham, Alabama Quick Visit

It was a sad occasion that brought my family together in Birmingham, Ala. in August. On that Sunday, before beginning our long drive back to Charleston, Alesia, Joseph and I did a quick tour of three Birmingham sites.  I was resistant at first, with such a long car drive ahead, but am glad we did this. Birmingham has a lot to offer, as I would learn. Hope to get back again and spend more time!  
This is Birmingham skyline taken from the Vulcan Park and Museum
The Vulcan Park was recommended by a few family members. 

This 50-ton statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and steelworking, was made from local iron in 1904, and has stood high atop Red Mountain overlooking Alabama's largest city since the 1930s. 

It has a lofty claim to fame as the world's largest cast iron statue. 
An Italian artist is Vulcan's creator. Birmingham is known as an industrial giant in iron and steel, so this is fitting tribute indeed! 
The museum is very interesting with lots about Vulcan and the origins and timeline of this unique site.  There is also quite a lot about the area's industrial heritage. 

Big Foot doesn't have anything on Vulcan!  

Racing fans will like the Vulcan Museum too. There is lots of racing and NASCAR gear, cars and motorcycles. 
The Allison brothers were big in NASCAR back in the day. This is Bobby, I think (but it may be Davey!).

In downtown Birmingham, it was neat but sad to the 16th Street Baptist Church where in 1963 four girls were killed in that notorious KKK bombing. 
Not a museum by any means, church services are still held here

A tribute to the four young victims is directly across from the famous church. Photographs of the four victims are part of this sculpture. 

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is honored in this park that honors America's Civil Rights movement.
Rev. King paid the ultimate price for his leadership in the movement. He was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

This sculpture depicts a famous (or should I say infamous) incident during the turbulent Civil Rights era. 

It's called The Foot Soldier statue. It has been in Kelly Ingram Park since 1995. It depicts an incident that occurred during a protest in Birmingham in 1963.  Read more here.

It's a powerful image, no question!  
Same with this other police dog depiction, also in the park.

It was a pretty day to visit a park full of tragedy and human ugliness! I am glad to have seen this park and the church where that horrible blast took four young lives.

On a more pleasant note was our quick tour of the Birmingham Museum of Art, which is located right across from the Civil Rights park.
Admission was free as was the parking. What an interesting and unusual array of art we saw during our 30-minute visit. Some of my iPhone pictures follow....

I found these objects described as funerary posts especially interesting, as they tie in with my "Beyond the Grave" course at the College of Charleston.

Time to hit the road! I took this photo on the interstate as we passed the George State Capitol in Atlanta. 

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