Teranika Campbell asked me to post this for her:
When I returned to my dorm room after the coach bus departed, I dropped my luggage on the floor and flopped on my bed. I held on to a feeling that initially was a difficult for me to capture. Shortly, after trying to put my fingers on the feeling I called my father. Through conversation, I was able to reflect on what the trip meant to me. I voiced to my father how proud I was of my activists endurance and strength to obtain Civil Rights. I was in complete awe! In just a week my mind went into almost an overdrive of information and thought.
I did not know where to start with my father, as I loquaciously started a sentence and jumped to another topic about the trip. What still stood out to me and still holds presence is no other than, Ms. Bland. She personally inspired me. I doubt I will ever forget her, due to the impact she has had in obtaining civil rights in her community. When she picked up the rock, it was tangible evidence that evoking change is as real as the pavement we walk on.
I was moved during the tour of the Alabama State Capital. I was able to validate that African-American history is American history. It is a silly thought to detach African-American History from mainstream culture, as our heritage is deeply rooted and influential in American History. At the Arkansas State Capital the tour guide mentioned how uneducated blacks help to construct the capital, specifically the stairwell. African- Americans literally did build America, and is not something that can be deterred or doubted by time, as the stairwell is still standing.
Motivation. Hope. Appreciation. Simply put, three words that describe how I feel about the Pilgrimage. I will continue to inspire other students to attend the trip, as it has greatly been a life-changing, and mind-empowering experience.
Teranika L. Campbell
University of Illinois
College of Nursing, Junior
Women of Color Organization Member