MONTGOMERY – Members of the Philadelphia Youth Organization's Anderson Monarchs Little League Baseball team, including star pitcher Mo'ne Davis, toured Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum Thursday as a part of a 23-day, 21-city Civil Rights tour.
A tribute to Jackie Robinsons, the Negro Leagues and the Civil Rights Movement, the tour is intended to provide team members the opportunity to "experience, first hand, what life on the road was like for black players in the first half of the 20th century." As such, the team is making the tour aboard an authentic 1947 Flxible Clipper touring bus.
The tour, which is being documented by ESPN, made stops in Birmingham on Wednesday, including the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
"We were excited to host the Anderson Monarchs Little League Baseball Team at the Rosa Parks Museum," said Dr. Felicia Bell, the Museum's director. "Mrs. Parks loved children and admired their integral role in the Civil Rights Movement. So while we enjoyed their presence at the museum, we hope that they were inspired by her as we embark on a 21st Century Civil Rights Movement."
Steve Bandura, the team's coach, said the tour provided the players the opportunity to "touch" history.
"We've been getting together every week for the past six months studying the civil rights movement," he said. "We watched a ton of documentaries, we read books and we had discussions. And it's one thing to learn about something from a book or a movie, and it's another thing to go out and touch it, and that's what we are doing, we're touching history. The kids are getting to see these sites of historic events and getting to meet people who were involved in the movement at that time, and you can't get a better education than that."
While the team's visit at the Museum was short, Bandura said the Cleveland Avenue Time Machine, an attraction in the Museum's Children's Wing, was a big hit with the team. Players were taken back through time aboard the 1955 Montgomery city bus replica, viewing important events dating from the early 1800s to the early "Jim Crow" era.
"The time machine was great," Bandura said. "I think they did a really great job of capturing it for the younger kids and keeping them interested. It's really well done, and I think everyone should see this place."
A member of the Anderson Monarchs Little League Baseball team views a video presentation in the Cleveland Avenue Time Machine during the team's visit to Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum on Thursday. The team is in the midst of a 23-day, 21-city Civil Rights tour.
Members of the Anderson Monarchs Little League Baseball team "touch" history at a display in the Children's Wing of Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum.
Members of the Anderson Monarchs Little League Baseball team pose for a group photo with Dr. Felicia Bell, director of Troy University's Rosa Parks Museum. The team visited the museum on Thursday as a part of a 23-day, 21-city Civil Rights tour that has included stops in Washington, D.C., Richmond, Va., Spartanburg, S.C., Birmingham and Montgomery. Traveling aboard an authentic 1947 Flxible Clipper touring bus, the team will travel north through the Mid-West before heading back east to New York City and, ultimately, back home to Philadelphia.