Reflections: Mandy Eason on Dear Evanston’s Uncomfortable Journey to Montgomery, Alabama.
“As I sit on the bus headed back to Chicago I begin to reflect on this incredible journey. Trust & believe that I have not even begun to truly process even the slightest bit of this experience. I can’t begin to put into words how powerful this trip has been nor how many levels of meaning there are for me!
Sharing my pictures & words on social media can only provide a very surface account of the incredibly overwhelming emotions, connection & visuals involved in this journey.
I’ve experienced sadness, anger, pain, empowerment, awe, disgust, heartbreak, reverence...amongst a host of other emotions. Although I welcome & appreciate all factual information available, this trip was about so much more than absorbing facts pertaining to enslavement/mass incarceration/racism/segregation/Jim Crow etc...this was about connecting with the pain and suffering of my ancestors who were enslaved & most assuredly many lynched in this particular area as well as all other people of color who suffered the same fates.
The atrocities committed, horrific treatment, everlasting wounds & insurmountable damage that were woven into the fabric of generations of our families...it’s incomprehensible, indescribable & devastating.
For me this journey was everything I predicted and so much more. I hope for everyone who went that their purpose for going was fulfilled as well as maybe received more meaning/enlightenment/direction than was anticipated. I hope we can all take this experience and not only process it in a healthy, healing, enlightening & empowering way but somehow make intentional efforts to pass that on...to our children, families, friends etc...as we attempt to move forward in the present we must understand, feel & learn from the past.
I’m so grateful that this opportunity was presented & that I answered the call to join in on this journey...uncomfortable yet unforgettable!!!“