Montgomery -- the city and its people, not the symbol and site of Alabama government -- is getting some love this week in The New York Times.
"Upon first impression, even with a county population of 230,000, Montgomery seems far too quaint and conservative to be home to two of the country’s most influential, progressive nonprofits fighting racial bias. Its airport has a single baggage claim and the rental car area is dotted with wooden rocking chairs, for an extra dose of Southern charm. I spent 20 minutes answering emails before walking outside and found myself the only person left on the premises, other than three bored-seeming policemen trading stories on the sidewalk."
That comes from this report from Jada Yuan, who The Times has charged with visiting each of the locales on its "52 places to go in 2018" list. Montgomery is listed at No. 49. (A side note: Imagine having that job, visiting a different place each week for a year and writing about it.)
All in all, it seems as if Yuan had a lovely time in Montgomery. She complimented most everything she mentioned, and, as a lifelong Southerner, I didn't detect an overwhelming hint of northern media's usual condescending viewpoints about the modern South. That's certainly a pleasant twist.
As Yuan wrote:
"This year, the city will erect its first statue to Dr. King, in front of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where he used to preach near the Capitol. The statues of J. Marion Sims and Jefferson Davis, erected in 1939 and 1940, will be in view, too. Alabama will remain one of two states that celebrate the King and Lee birthdays in a combined holiday. This is how change seems to come in Montgomery: messy and long overdue. Still, how wonderful to see progress in action."
-- Phillip Tutor