I apologize in advance for my grammar. I am writing from the bus. I need to get my thoughts out before I forget them. Today was the first time our trip has gone to Greensboro and I can assure you that we will be going back for years to come. I was so impacted by the entire day. Our first order of business was to visit the International Civil Rights Center museum. We had the privilege of having the Director of the museum as our tour guide. He did a wonderful job of painting the picture of the entire movement and put us in the shoes of the four students who started the lunch counter sit ins.
After the museum we headed to the Beloved Community Center where Dr. Bailey from AFRO studies at U of I had arranged for some wonderful speakers to come and speak to us. Reverend Nelson Johnson and his wife Joyce told us about a protest that took place on November 3, 1979. None of us could believe that we had never heard about this and we were even more shocked that the museum today didn't touch on it. At that protest 5 protestors were killed in broad daylight by Nazi's and Klu Klux Klan members. Four different tv stations were there and recorded what happened. There is video proof that these shootings took place and how they took place. One of the shooters walked to his car with a cigarette in his hand and casually grabbed his gun out of his car and just started shootimg. All of the shooters were aquitted of all crimes by an all white jury.
This happened during my lifetime. My heart is not only broken for these events but that they are not being acknowledged. The fact that this is my seventh Civil Rights Pilgrimage and I am just learning about this today is a different kind of heartbreaking. I promise that I will continue to bring students to Greensboro to learn this history so that light can be placed on this dark spot in our not so distant history.