Montgomery is a city that sits at the crossroads of history. Court Square, with the artistic fountain at the center, is arguably one of the most important pieces of historical real estate in America. One can trace the beginnings of the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement to that square and realize that you are standing at the epicenter of massive social, political, cultural, and religious movements: Where Heaven and Earth collide.
Montgomery Deep History is a tour that explores the contours of what happened here, from the Muskogee (Creek) Indians, early European and white American settlers, the travesty of Creek Indian Removal, forced slave migrations to Montgomery and Central Alabama, to the lead up to the Civil War and Montgomery being chosen as the first capital of the Confederacy. Land owners and slaves, patriarchs and villains of oratory, slave preachers and missionaries from England, a town, then a city, rising out of the Alabama Black Belt to set movements at work that would change the face of the world.
Auburn University historian Wayne Flynt once said that Montgomery is a “city that slavery built.” Between 1850 and 1865, Montgomery contained the largest slave market in America at Court Square. How did this foundation affect the city over the next 100 years? How did the town’s beginnings and the movements that happened within it set the stage for the eruption of the Civil Rights Movement when luminaries like Vernon Johns, E.D. Nixon, Rosa Parks, Johnnie Carr, Fred Gray, and Ralph Abernathy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. arose to lead African Americans out of bondage and into a realization of full citizenship? Montgomery Deep History will explore not just the “what?” of American history with a deep South flavor, but the “why?” and the “how?”
With the opening of the Equal Justice Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the history of Montgomery has taken center stage in America. There are answers here - answers to questions that America is asking:
- How do we face our past and tell the truth about what happened?
- What is the real truth? The deep truth?
- What role did religion play in what went wrong … and in what can go right?
- How can we move forward together as a people from many backgrounds with healing, forgiveness, and hope?
- And, in what ways are we engaging in some of the same attitudes of the past TODAY and what can we do about it?
Montgomery Deep History isn’t just about the past. It’s about how we got to the present and where we are going in the future. It’s about the journey … the path … and that path is leading somewhere. Join us on this journey to understand where we’ve been, to explore deep questions and find some deep answers, and to forecast where we might be headed if we can deal with some things that have held us back.
Montgomery Deep History … "Telling A Deeper Story."
* The above contribution to Montgomery Deep History is from author and speaker Alan Cross.
ABOUT YOUR GUIDE
Keelan is a native of Alabama and has grown to love its history. Both he and Alan Cross presented lectures on American history to groups of people in the city of Montgomery over a course of time. Eventually these presentations gave birth to what many now know as MGM Deep History. Keelan presents the history of Montgomery, the state of Alabama, and the nation at large in a way that provides a roadmap for its healing. He is currently a grad student. He enjoys reading, cycling, fishing, and auto-mechanics.