So far this trip has been a pretty adventurous one! From the moment we pulled off from campus, I knew we were in for a treat! Our first stop was of course Dayton, Ohio where we stopped to eat dinner. Soon afterwards we left Dayton to head to our next destination which was Greensboro, North Carolina. In downtown Greensboro, we went to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum where we took a tour and learned a lot about civil rights movements including a non-violent civil rights movement that took place right there in that museum when it was a diner called Woolworth’s. A group of four black male college students participated in a sit-in there which was basically where blacks would sit and dine in a public restaurant even though they weren’t allowed to. As they continued doing this sit-in, over time others in the community, both black and white people, men and women, began to support them and participate in the sit-in as well that eventually blacks were finally able to purchase food and actually dine in the restaurant. The actual diner was still in the museum and we even watched a reenactment of the sit-in. I thought that was a great way of making us feel like were present when this sit-in occurred. Our tour guide was also very engaging, energetic and knowledgeable so that really helped us enjoy the tour.
Afterwards, we went to the Beloved Community Center which is also located in Greensboro, North Carolina. This community center is deeply grass-rooted and dedicated to the community and trying to unify and bond the people of Greensboro, the entire state of North Carolina and whoever else they can unify despite racial, gender, religious or social economic status differences. They also told us about a civil rights movement that I knew nothing about nor had I ever heard about it. They talked about what occurred on November 3rd, 1979 which is also known as the “Greensboro Massacre” Usually when you think of any type of civil rights movements they all took place in the 1960s or before then. During the massacre, 5 protestors were killed by Nazi and KKK members. All the shooters were acquitted for these crimes from an all-white jury. I was very surprised and shocked at these events because before today I honestly never knew about it. The speakers encouraged all of us to become involved in our communities and to fight for social change. I felt very inspired upon leaving Greensboro, North Carolina. That quaint, friendly Southern town has a rich history one that can really teach you a thing or two.
Now we have just left Charlotte, North Carolina and are headed for Atlanta, Georgia which, apart from Little Rock, Arkansas is one of my most anticipated stops on this trip. I know that the city of Atlanta holds a ton of history from the civil rights movement. I am really anticipating visiting Martin Luther King’s Jr. Church Ebenezer Baptist Church especially since I’ve never been to a Baptist church before. I am so excited to learn more about it and see all the other exciting sites in Atlanta.