This spring, the 7th and 8th grade students traveled to Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia to retrace our nation’s struggle for equality and the Civil Rights Movement. Starting in Atlanta, Georgia at the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., students explored the root causes, people, and precipitating events leading up to the passage of the Civil Right act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Along their journey, the class visited the major sites of the Civil Rights movement. From attending church services at the historic 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, to marching across the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, students confronted the dark history of segregation as well as the warmth and welcome arms of those who shared their personal stories from the movement with them.
Like any Mountain School adventure, there was a mix of work and play. Baseball games and bike tours rounded out the itinerary. Spending a night in the Cumberland Caverns and catching a country music show at the Grand Ole Opry added to the experience, as students came to see the South as not only a center for the Civil Rights Movement, but a culturally and geographically diverse region, as well.
Returning to Atlanta, having visited the churches where the KKK detonated bombs, talked with Civil Rights activists who experienced racial motivated police brutality and threats, and stood where MLK was assassinated, the students came to see that our nation’s struggle for equality is ongoing, and while we have made tremendous progress, we still have more to learn and a long way to go to bring true equality to all.
Written by Andy Shoff, Trip Leader and Associate Head of School.
To view photos of the trip please visit Flickr
To view the presentation on learning video please visit Vimeo