Day 9 – So where do we go from here?

June 21st, 2021

On this final leg of our bus tour, I’ve been considering all the ways I’ll be processing this trip over the next days, weeks, months. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity. The memories I made from meeting civil rights heroes are ones I will carry with me for the rest of my life. As a historian, I am acutely aware of how rare of an opportunity this trip was, particularly as so many veterans of the Civil Rights era are no longer with us. Personally, I will continue to lament the sins of this country and continue to unpack my white privilege and consider ways to fight for human rights.

The beauty and heartbreak of this tour is that hatred, racism, slavery, and lynching all still exist in this country and in our world. Many of them now have new iterations via racial profiling, mass incarceration, our punitive police state, etc. Racism has existed in the current U.S. since Europeans arrived on these indigenous lands and it continues to be passed down for generations in hearts and systems and institutions.

So where do we go from here?

This is my preliminary processing on the last day: I will educate myself and others and get in “good trouble” that John Lewis always encouraged. As a white woman, this will be a lifelong process. I’ll continue teaching my students about the history of this movement and the fight for human rights. One thing I’ve gleaned from this trip is additional details and nuances to add to my lectures. I hope these give students even more of a visceral sense of the past and how it fits into the larger history of racism.

If you’re thinking about what you’ve read on this blog and are looking for a place to start, I recommend the following movies and documentaries (some of which we watched on this trip):

The Hate U Give
-Son of the South

Eyes on the Prize (PBS)
Mighty Times: The Children’s March

May we all summon the courage and resilience of the Civil Rights activists as we continue to fight for human rights for all.

Sarah P. Myers