SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012

During spring break 2012, students, faculty and staff are taking a nine-day bus ride through the American South to visit civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. Political Science Professor Dennis Simon leads the pilgrimage with SMU’s Chaplain’s Office.

Where fear meets hope

An update from Ed, who is participating in the pilgrimage with his daughter, Janelle: The Civil Rights Pilgrimage is an exercise in the art of change. It is the concept of change that greeted us this morning. The Arkansas Gazette had on its front page the election of Representative Darrin Williams to be the first black Speaker of the House in the Arkansas legislature. We can legislate policy; however, we cannot legislate fear and hope. It is this same concept - fear by the white Arkansans and hope by black Arkansans - that met at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The fear of what we don’t know still consumes the hearts of our citizens in 2012. The triumph [...]

2012-03-11T17:40:20+00:00 March 11th, 2012|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012|

Another kind of ‘war on terror’

An update from Janelle, who is participating in the pilgrimage with her father, Ed: I struggle to start today’s journal entry because I’m still in awe. Today I encountered two stories I’m very familiar with, but I saw them in a different light. First, we visited the Little Rock Nine visitor center. I reflected on the book Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals and the movie The Ernest Green Story, two of the nine. Their accounts are horrifying and disheartening. The school itself is a thing of beauty. Its breathtaking in its grandness. I closed my eyes and imagined Elizabeth Eckford walking down the street toward an angry mob. Toward it. Not away from. The fear she must have [...]

2012-03-11T17:23:48+00:00 March 11th, 2012|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012|

The power of place

An update from Kim, a Master of Liberal Studies student: This was a day that started on the steps of Little Rock Central High School with stories of personal courage displayed by the nine black teenagers who faced down unspeakable hatred in dogged pursuit of an integrated, equal education. Long hours and hundreds of miles after leaving Little Rock, our group was standing in a dark driveway in Jackson, Mississippi, examining by the light of a cellphone the bloodstains still visible where civil rights leader Medgar Evers was gunned down in front of his home. The emotional push and pull of this journey came home with real force on this first full day of the pilgrimage. These events [...]

2012-03-12T15:19:48+00:00 March 10th, 2012|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012|

History is more than a story

An update from Janelle, who is participating in the pilgrimage with her father, Ed: As I get ready to shove off into the waters of history, I think of the hundreds of stories about the civil rights era I’ve already been told, and the hundreds of stories I’ve already encountered. I remember the times my father made my sisters and I watch Roots as a rite of passage. I remember the trip we took to The 6th Floor Museum before the Independent School District decided we were old enough to understand what happened and its importance. I remember sitting at the feet of my great-grandmother listening to her talk about her grandfather, who was a slave. I remember her telling [...]

2012-03-10T14:25:31+00:00 March 10th, 2012|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012|

Thoughts of a pilgrim

 An update from Ed, who is participating in the pilgrimage with his daughter, Janelle: I have been involved in civil rights for over 30 years, and it was a pleasure that my daughter asked to go on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Last year, I went on the pilgrimage while in Dr. Dennis Simon’s class. Two years, two groups, one message. The message is diversity. America’s greatness lies in its diversity. As I lie in my bed to prepare for tomorrow’s events, I am in awe of how far we have come. I will now watch President Obama on TV. It is true, we have come a long way.

2012-03-10T14:24:58+00:00 March 10th, 2012|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012|

Preparing to board

During spring break 2012, students, faculty and staff are taking a nine-day bus ride through the American South to visit civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. Political Science Professor Dennis Simon leads the pilgrimage with SMU’s Chaplain’s Office.

2012-03-12T16:41:12+00:00 March 9th, 2012|SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2012|
Load More Posts