Civil Rights Trip 2019 Reflections: Days 2-3

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Civil Rights Trip 2019 Reflections: Days 2-3

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During Haynes’s Spring Break, a select group of 35 students is tracing the Civil Rights Movement through the South, driving from D.C. to North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. Follow their reflections and updates here, and on Instagram (@elhcivilrights).

Today was a fun day. We started our day with Mrs. Jeannie Graetz who talked about her story. She said the Montgomery bus boycott worked because of nonviolence. She mentioned a quote that Dr. Martin Luther King would say which is, “Nonviolence of the fist, nonviolence of the tongue, nonviolence of the heart.” I like the acronym she used for RACE – “respect all cultures equally.”  I think that’s exactly how race should be defined. I think Mrs. Graetz is a really brave person for staying in her home even though it was bombed, and she and her husband were intimidated. She said in 1957 on January 10th two bombs were supposed to go off but didn’t. It is a true miracle and she says she stayed because she knew God was protecting her. 

– Lidia Dominguez, 10th grade

On the third day on the civil rights trip we went to Montgomery, Alabama and were able to talk to and meet Mrs. Graetz. She told us stories about her experience with hate. She told us many things that people have done to hurt her and her family, and how many group like the KKK did not like what her husband was doing. She also told us that her husband Mr. Robert Graetz was forming an organization, more then 50 people joined. People would call them “traitors.”  She told us wise words, like “RACE” stands for “respect all cultures equally.”  Then we went to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, a 150 year old building. This church is the church Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor for 6 years. We were able to meet many amazing people like our tour guide, Wanda. She told us, “I am who I am, and I’m not who I’m not.” This day was one of the best days, and I feel like I learned so much  that some teachers may not teach in school. I’m proud to say that I was taken back in time and saw the ghost of the past and the energy was strong and I loved it.

– Elizabeth Castro-Guevara, 11th grade

On the 3rd day of the Civil Rights Trip we did many things from meeting Mrs. Graetz in Montgomery, Alabama, to walking around beautiful and inspiring museums and memorials. However my favorite part of the trip was when we walked around The Equal Justice Initiative’s Peace and Justice Memorial. Here was a memorial for roughly 4,400+ people that had lost their life to lynching and other brutal deaths. I liked this place the most because of the realization that it had brought me and that was that a lot of people had lost their life due to hatred.

– Peyton Lucas, 11th grade

My day today included meeting and learning more about Mrs. Graetz. Having the chance to connect with her once again built up my understanding towards what I knew about how some white people joined with people of color in the civil rights movement, and how it didn’t matter what group you were in you had to let go of that fear and fight for a change. Visiting the EJI museum showed me more that I didn’t know. I was really impacted to recognize how lynching had a really huge impact, such as in Louisiana which had a county that had about 54 lynchings in just one day. I also got to hear stories as if we were meeting an inmate and recognize what they had to go through and how much there life was impacted.

– Tatiana Buruca, 12th grade

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