Civil Rights Pilgrimage South

During Spring Break 2011, students, faculty and staff are taking an eight-day bus ride to the American South’s civil rights landmarks. Political Science Professor Dennis Simon leads the pilgrimage with SMU’s Chaplain’s Office.

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At dinner with history

Kelvin%20.jpg An update from Kelvin, who is earning a Master of liberal studies:

I’ve been around celebrities and famous professional players; I’ve shaken hands and received hugs. But I have never been as awestruck in my life as I was while sitting at dinner with history: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Graetz; Mrs. Harris, a neighbor of Dr. King during the civil rights movement; and the daughter of Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Valda Harris Montgomery. This experience was like no other, as we sat and listened to all their stories.

They are up in age but still feel the pain of the movement. On many occasions the history we encountered brought tears, especially when they walked in the room and our group of 35-plus gave them a standing ovation. Oftentimes after making a statement Mr. Graetz would pull out his hanky and wipe his eyes. I’m not going to tell you the story of Mr. Graetz, because I feel you should read about him and his family. You would learn something.

Something to think about….

Imagine being a father or a mother.

It’s 2 a.m., you’re asleep, you have been home about four days after having your third child. The other two children are sleeping in another room and you hear a loud noise. It’s a bomb! Imagine being that mother, or that father, or that son or daughter – pretty powerful. Although the family was spared, that night was never forgotten.

Mr. Graetz told us something that just blew my mind: He stated that after talking with the demolitionists who evaluated what happened, he learned there were two bombs. (The KKK were responsible.) The first bomb didn’t go off, so the white men in the car rolled back around and threw another bomb to ignite the first one they threw, yet this first bomb did not blow up. Only the second and smaller bomb blew up. To the amazement of the crowd, Mr. Graetz stated that the first bomb was so powerful it would have blown up the whole house, but it didn’t even ignite. Look at how God works!

Seriously, put the shoes on your feet. It doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity you come from. Children’s lives were in jeopardy.

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