An update from Hiba, a junior majoring in biochemistry and human rights with a minor in Arabic: Growing up takes patience with yourself and with those around you. Selma, Alabama, is a quaint old town that values its history. It is a place where relics of the past stare at you and say "do not forget our history": you can see the divide between the tiny rickety houses where African-Americans lived on one side of railroad and the beautiful antebellum houses of the white people on the other side. While driving around, you will see old theaters with a blacks-only entrance at the side and a county courthouse that you might associate with great protests and riots. Most important and most [...]
An update from Michael, a sophomore majoring in human rights and religious studies and minoring in Arabic and ethics: Today in Selma we had the privilege of speaking with some foot soldiers of the civil rights movement. One thread that ran through their speeches was the importance of voting. I heard what actually had to take place for all people to vote. This strengthened my resolve to remain politically active. I was slightly disappointed with some of the local races in the last election, and was feeling a little discouraged. This inspired me to continue with my efforts to encourage people to vote, and to not take that right for granted.
An update from Erin, a senior majoring in history and human rights: We watched "Ghosts of Mississippi" on the way to Jackson today. Incredible. It was definitely the best acting that Whoopi Goldberg has ever done, and that's including "Ghost." I even loved Alec Baldwin in the film; it's the only thing I've ever seen him in that I liked. Its depiction of the long, bitter struggle for justice concerning the cold-blooded murder of Jackson civil rights activist Medgar Evers by Byron De La Beckwith, the epitome of white supremacists, was masterful. The entire time we were watching it, indeed, the entire day, I've had the well-known protest song "Ella's Song" stuck in my head: "We who believe in freedom [...]
An update from Jazmin, a senior majoring in Spanish: Today we went to Mount Zion Church, where two white men and one African American man – Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney – worked during Freedom Summer just before their gruesome murders. The three activists were heavily involved in the civil rights movement, where equality was always a priority. Because Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were both white men who supported the movement, the Ku Klux Klan became intimidated by the kind of power and success the movement would obtain with white men on its side. The three men had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer. After investigating the burning of a church, the group [...]