Visiting the Civil Rights Institute

Jevon Johnson, Writer

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Freshmen visited the Civil Rights Institute with Mrs. Polak and Mrs. Edger. Bob Jones freshmen often visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute during or after reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Mrs. Edger said, “I overheard a conversation today that really just puts into perspective WHY we take this field trip: ‘Woah, these girls were younger than me when they died.’ The student was looking at photos of victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. Watching students realize that the injustices read about in TKAM were not just part of a story, but were sadly very real, this is why we go. We go so that history does not repeat itself, so that we continue to learn and grow.”

The Civil Rights Institute’s mission statement is “to enlighten each generation about civil and human rights by exploring our common past and working together in the present to build a better future.” According to the institute’s website, about 150,000 visitors pass through its doors each year.

Students review primary documents.

Currently, the A.G Gaston exhibit, dedicated to an African-American businessman and pioneer, and the Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crowe exhibit are on display.

Craig Stephenson, a freshman on the trip, said, “I was touched by the speeches that I read and heard, especially the ones by Martin Luther King, Jr.” Spencer Munshi, another freshman, wished that they could have spent more time at the museum but was pleased with the experience.

*Photos courtesy of Mrs. Polak and Mrs. Edger

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