Trip teaches church members about racism and themselves
By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter
For some, the most powerful part of a recent bus trip through the South was seeing close up what they'd only read about in history books: the childhood home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a bombed out Freedom Ride bus, a Ku Klux Klan robe.
For others, it was making friends of a different race, and realizing why some people never have to think about race while others have it constantly on their minds.
In November, about 40 Pacific Northwest members of the Chicago-based Evangelical Covenant Church flew from Seattle to Atlanta for a bus tour of civil-rights sites in the South, including the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where a bombing in 1963 killed four black girls.
Called a Sankofa journey, from a West African word meaning "looking backward to move forward," the trips are designed to speak to a phenomenon King observed decades ago that remains largely true today: that Sunday-morning church services are the most segregated hour in the nation.