Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2014

2014 marks the 10th Anniversary of the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The eight-day bus journey takes students, faculty and staff to visit the American South’s civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. The group’s stops include Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama; Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King served as pastor; the campus of Ole Miss in Oxford; and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. King was assassinated.

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Nonviolent courage of the Little Rock Nine

An update from Donna, a Master of Liberal Studies student:

photo1Little Rock Central High School is architecturally beautiful. When you view the grandeur of the building, it is hard to conceive of what awaited the Little Rock Nine. Unwelcomed, harassed, assaulted, hated, the young people persevered. Every day they went to war. Every day they faced the same hatred. Every day hoping today would be different. Every day it was not. They were so young to possess and display such nonviolent courage.

The state of Arkansas installed sculptures in bronze of the nine on the Capitol grounds. The sculptures are a lovely representation of the students’ courage and tenacity for all to see. Each one is unique, as each of the students were. However, there is a look of uncertainty on each face. They were undoubtedly unsure of what would come, but can be proud of their part in the advancement of civil rights (and human rights) in history.

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