Peace and Pieces: Reflecting on Civil Rides


By Jason Coker 

It has been difficult for me to wrap my head around Civil Rides, which makes writing about it nearly impossible.

cr riders flh memorialThe space we inhabited along this three-day, 200-mile bike ride was sacred and made sacred by the blood that had once been spilled there. From Memphis at the Lorraine Motel on the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s martyrdom to Jackson, Mississippi, site of the martyrdom of Medgar Evers — among many others — we traversed from one sacred place to another. The funeral home that prepared Emmett Till’s young, brutalized body for burial, Fannie Lou Hamer’s grave, and the town where she was illegally arrested and nearly beaten to death in a jail cell were not merely stops along the way, but heavy anchors that held us in stunned silence at times as we rode our bicycles from one historical marker to the next.


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