16th day of the Omer — gevurah sh’b’tiferet (boundaries in compassion)
Judi gave me the title of this post. L’havdil is a hard-to-translate Hebrew phrase along the lines of “Viva la difference!”
The use of this phrase marks the world of difference between all of my civil rights touring and our planned visit this morning to Stone Mountain, which is an homage to the southern Confederacy. The tableau on the mountain features the Confederate leaders, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. It is actually quite impressive as an engineering and artistic feat (it is 33 stories high, a city block wide, and 5 miles around the base of the mountain), if a bit appalling in that there is no counter-story offered there. In fact, Ku Klux Klan rallies regularly take place at the foot of it, to this day.
We made this stop en route to the University of Georgia in Athens where we helped Judi’s youngest daughter pack up and move out her stuff for the summer and also visited with her middle daughter who is graduating from there this coming week (oldest daughter is in law school at Vanderbilt). Athens was a lovely college town and the campus is lovely. But I stopped short in my tracks when I saw this plaque noting that the university didn’t integrate until 1961 (hence the historic black colleges in Atlanta — Morehouse and Spelman). I went to progressive Oberlin College, the first school to accept both African Americans (from 1835) and women (from 1837, though its mission was to be coeducational from its founding in 1833). So, 1961?!?!
As I prepare to leave tomorrow morning, I leave you with just two more images from my time here.
Happy Mother’s Day, y’all! And thanks to Judi and Stan for your gracious (and Southern) hospitality!