Civil Rights Trip 2019 Reflections: Days 5-6

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Civil Rights Trip 2019 Reflections: Days 5-6

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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 very enlightening day. We went to Adelante Alabama Workers Center this morning to learn about the rights of immigrants and gain information about immigration through immersive activities. We then attended the 146th anniversary celebration of the 16th Street Baptist Church where we got a firsthand view of where organizing meetings were once held and where four young girls lost their lives in a bombing. Afterward, we went to Kelly Ingram Park to reflect on the treatment of children as they marched in the thousands. At the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute we collected a lot of information about all things that took place in relation to the Civil Rights Movement. Today we focused on the topic of the place of children in the movement. I learned that children are important to movements. They are the young fighters that watch and examine what takes places whilst contributing what they can. They need to be protected and well educated because they are the pillars that hold up our futures and we need to invest a substantial amount of energy into them. Their good upbringing is a testament of what is in store for us all.

– Nate Haile, 10th grade

Day 5 such an emotional day. I was so touched by everything I learned today, especially when we went to the 16th Street Baptist Church. I really felt the power and love of the community. Their energy was so empowering that made me think even deeper on how I can make a change in my community and help my people, my loved ones.  What really shocked me was how some people with so much hate had the heart to kill innocent little girls. I realized that this fight is not over and that we as a community need to continue this fight. We need to honor those lives that were taken away by hate. We are the change that the world has been waiting for, and we are the generation that will continue this fight for not just African American lives, but every single life no matter what race or gender they are. We all matter.

– Natalie Hernandez, 11th grade

Today was my favorite day because we went to Kelly Ingram Park where the children marched, and there was a lot of statues based on the four girls and the water hose pointing at the children. When I saw that statue, it really made me feel emotional because no children should ever be treated this way, and now I’m realizing that kids have so much power and we can make a difference if we all come together. One thing that stood out to me in the museum was the stereotypes of African Americans. African Americans would appear in postcards, calendars, tobacco tins and toys but the most common image would be huge red lips, oversized hips. All of these are false statements that white people think of poeple of color and also they would a picture of someone that was lynched on a postcard. That’s very cruel and that shows that people don’t have respect.

– Delia Alvarenga, 11th grade

Another day of enlightenment, another day of experience and critical thinking. Realization swarmed the brains of all of us. We realized we had certain rights that can never be taken away from us. Another blessed day, as we participated in the creation of the 16th Street Baptist Church. We were able to fight through the differences of religion, and engulfed into the history we were sitting on. Adelante, meaning to go on, or welcome. We don’t have to fall to the oppression of those who want to bring us down. We are more than we think. The dead, as in those who fought for what we have now, they guided us in this chapter. The earth, sky, and wind will come together and make the planet new.

– Wladimir Alarcon, 10th grade

Today on our last day for the civil rights trip we went to Hayley Farm. Today we talked about really important stuff with Timothy Hughes. He explained the importance of voting. Today we also did some very fun team bonding activities. These activities helped people get out of their comfort zone.

Today we first got to Haley Farm which was a safe place for advocates to come and stay. After we listened to Timothy Hughes who is an advocate for African American voters in Tennessee, we debriefed about the overall lesson we took from this trip and re-enacted these scenes. On a personal note, I learned about the church that was meant for the children during 9/11. The history being the church was that it was built due to children’s safety and this was a place where most people stayed for security.

My day went great I learned many new things about people today that go to EL Haynes. I had a team building skills while working with my group ready to act a skit about one important thing we learned this week. I also learned connections to make a community stronger because strength helps through unity. The Equity Alliance taught me how not to be afraid and always bounce back, to express yourself and show who you really are. Throughout this week I learned not to be afraid and I am the most important piece of the puzzle.

– Trevour Jackson-Carpenter, 11th grade

Today on day 5 we visited different places and something that stood out to me the most was the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. A few things I learned were that Birmingham was the south’s most fiercely segregated city. I also got the chance to read Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter that he wrote when he was in jail. It talked about the movement and how African Americans were waiting for something that’s a God-given right. Another part of the trip that stood out to me was when we visited Adelante because I learned rights that we all have that I didn’t know about until today and will help me further on.

– Kimberly Ayala, 10th grade

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