Two guys named Carl walked onto a bus last month in Duluth, one black, one white.
One of them was Carl Crawford, the human rights officer for the city. The other was Carl Huber, a financial aid officer at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. They had never met, but ended up sitting next to each other on the ride to Montgomery, Ala., bonding over being fathers, transplants to Duluth and a love of barbecue.
Before they left, Crawford spoke to the group gathered at the Clayton-Jackson-McGhie memorial in Duluth, heading to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. "On this trip, be willing to open your eyes, your hearts, your minds," he said.
Castings of the three men lynched in Duluth in 1920 looked on as Crawford, Huber and 33 others boarded the bus that would visit the sites of other lynchings and civil rights memorials before reaching the brand-new museum that honors those killed in lynchings around the U.S.
Huber and Crawford became fast friends long before reaching Alabama. They have plenty in common, but an emotional trip forges a special kind of friendship.
"You can't always put words to it when you have a journey like that with someone," Huber said. "What was cool was that we could always come back to the Carl."