We began Tuesday with a lesson on the Birmingham children’s march. Students learned the ways in which young people in Birmingham stood up and fulfilled Dr. King’s calls to fill the jails with non-violent protestors. Their parents feared economic retaliation for doing so, but their children knew they could step up. Despite Dr. King’s reservations, the children pushed the issue and took control of the movement in Birmingham for that week, going toe to toe with unfathomably brutal tactics employed by Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor.
Then, we boarded the busses for a four hour drive to Memphis. Along the way, each bus had a talent show. Ms. Buhl and I hosted for Bus 3, and watched as students and teachers alike broke through the awkward anxiety that comes with performing. It was great to see just how much closer we’ve become as a group since Friday!
When we arrived in Memphis, we had a lesson on Elizabeth Eckford of the Little Rock Nine in anticipation of meeting her on Wednesday. In 1957, the Alabama National Guard blocked her entrance to Little Rock Central HS as she walked solo through a growing mob. This harrowing walk led to one of the most famous images of the civil rights movement that was on the front page of newspapers nationwide.