The tragedies and triumphs that took place during civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s awakened an entire nation to the reality of racial injustice African-Americans faced nationwide. During that time, African-Americans fought to gain equal rights in the United States and were met with resistance, and often violence. Here are five reasons taking your students on a civil rights tour is a necessary and eye-opening experience you don’t want to miss.
- History should never be forgotten. The events in history that took place before students’ time laid the foundation for the world they live in today. Students can take a Journeys for the Soul guided tour, which includes a uniquely personal and intimate eyewitness account of the uncivil days of the Civil Rights Movement—straight from the foot soldiers who were there and who are still fighting to keep their history alive.
- There are parallels to today’s society. Students will learn the real stories behind both the tragic and triumphant events that changed the trajectory of history forever and be able to see relevant similarities to the world they live in today. While living in a world where violence and hate are still seen far too often, students will have a deeper understanding of what it means to stand up for what is right and just. Students can visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights—an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s global Human Rights Movements.
- Get to know the people on the frontlines. Sure, we know there were pivotal leaders that pushed the civil rights movement forward. But do students know their names and details about their immense struggles on the journey to justice? By teaching students about these key activists and their beliefs, teachers can ensure their work and messages live on in today’s youth. At the National Voting & Rights Museum, students will learn about the achievements and memory of those who lost their lives during the Civil Rights Movement, a period framed by the momentous Brown v. Board decision in 1954 and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968.
- The importance of an expanded worldview. Having background on the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement will provide students with a deeper understanding of tolerance and awareness of the world around them. Though there are many things that make us different from one another, there are more things that make us all alike. The Freedom Rides Museum tells the story of the young 1961 Freedom Riders—black and white, male and female—who stepped off a bus at the Montgomery Greyhound Station on May 20, 1961 to protest racial segregation in public transportation, knowing they were surely to be met with violence.
- Experience historical sites up close and in person. Nothing beats learning about history in the exact places where it happened. Students will undoubtedly be struck with the gravity of standing where the historic figures they read about in their textbooks stood. Students can visit the Rosa Parks Museum, located on the former site of the old Empire Theatre where Mrs. Parks made her courageous and historic stand in 1955.
Learn more about the options available for Hemisphere’s civil rights tours and start planning today.
Written by Hemisphere Educational Travel