At the Medgar Evers House, I learned who Medgar Evers was and how he contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. It reminded me that there were many people who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement and sacrificed their lives, and I was glad to be able to learn about a new figure. The Mississippi Civil Rights and History Museum had a lot of information that I found interesting. My time there was particularly memorable because I met a Freedom Rider who spoke about his experiences.
I was really excited to go on the Little Rock Central High School Tour in Arkansas. It was crazy to think about how not too long ago, the Little Rock Nine went there. The tour gave me a lot of in-depth information that I hadn’t learned before from textbooks. I learned just how terribly the Little Rock Nine was treated when they tried to attend classes at Central High, and I also learned about the Lost Year that occurred the year after the Little Rock Nine went there. The Mosaic Templars Museum was also an interesting experience, and I learned about the importance of 9th Street and the businesses that flourished there in the past.
The National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee was full of information, but I particularly appreciated that it talked a lot about the other side of the Civil Rights Movement. There was the peaceful and nonviolent approach, but the museum also talked about the other approaches to the movement, such as the contributions from Malcolm X. This was the first museum that really addressed this other aspect of the movement. The Slave Haven Museum was also a memorable experience, because we got to tour a house that was an actual stop for the Underground Railroad. It was crazy to hear about the story behind the house, and to see the underground cellar where the runaway slaves had to sneak into. Lastly, the Ernest Withers Museum was also interesting, and I learned about who the man was, as well as the conspiracy theories that arose following his death.
Overall, this trip was packed with information, and I took away a lot from it. I learned much more about the Civil Rights Movement than I ever did from my textbooks, and was reminded that these events occurred not too long ago. The best part was that I shared my experiences daily with my family and friends. The discussions we had at the hotel also allowed us to process what we’d learned throughout the day. I feel that it is important for us to talk about these things, and that it is more important than ever for us to take action and fight for justice today. I’m thankful that I had such a memorable spring break, and I know that I will definitely be thinking and talking about the things I learned from this trip.