PLSC Civil Rights Pilgrimage Day 7

The House of Medgar Evars was very informative. I did not know who he was before the
class. For me, I was reminded of the history of the Civil Rights Movement that I do not yet
know. I was reminded that I can never be comfortable in my knowledge of human rights. I feel
like we repeat the same names in history over and over again until their names mean nothing to
everyone. Or they mean anything to anyone. How many times do people bring up Dr. King on
Facebook to diminish protests and demonstrations? These great people have become tools of the
oppressor to put oppressed peoples in their places. The bullet hole and the period furniture speak
to the violence of the movement, they speak to the attempts of past oppressors to put Medgar
Evars in his place and put him in his grave. He and his family lived every day in fear that
someone would bomb their home, or shoot them through their windows. The beds are lowered,
the windows are raised, and the door was moved to shelter the children. The Movement was violent. 
I enjoyed my time at the Smith Robertson Museum. I think it spoke a lot to the ability of
communities to overcome great disadvantages. I only wish there were more resources and
museums to discuss slavery in the United States. We have not yet accepted the horrors of our
past, so we are unable to build a united community. Museums about the Transatlantic Slave Trade
help us reconcile the horrors of slavery and disenfranchisement of African Americans and other
minority, but so many people have no idea how violent and dangerous slavery and oppression
was for millions of minorities. I am frustrated because I do not know all of this history because
it deemed unnecessary. Because we need to let sleeping dogs lie and we are only causing
division in America because people want their suffering to be recognized. The reflection at the
museum felt unproductive. I think the main reason it felt unproductive is because we are not a
community. The trip has felt divided. I feel like a lot of people on the trip are coming from good
places, but they are unwilling to listen. They only want to speak and be heard. I understand their
frustration, they believe in what they are saying, they want other people to know what they
know, but we need to find a better outlet for that frustration.
The Winter Institute was a very interesting presentation. It was insightful to hear about
the connection between the Institute and the Philadelphia Coalition. It was really cool to see how
their work in the institute is used in communities have visited. I liked hearing about some of the
other initiatives that the Institute works on at Ole Miss, but I felt like the time could have been
better spent actually participating in some of the activities that the speaker mentioned. I think
that something like the story circle would have greatly benefited the group as a whole. I think
that there was a lot of distrust in the group because of perceived grievances and prejudices within the group which made the reflection difficult. The reflection felt very hostile. I think there were a
few good moments, but it was not productive. There were quite a few people that took it upon
themselves to attack others, and I did not appreciate that. I wish that we had more time on the
trip to work through that kind of hostility.

Song: Land of the Free – Joey Bada$$