June 6th, 2012

The “Returning to the Roots of ┬áCivil Rights” bus tour is a nine-day bus tour visiting the key sites of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This blog is an account of Messiah community members’ experiences along the way. Through this blog, we hope to depict the various sights, interactions, and personal learning that we are undergoing.

3 Responses to “About”

  1. lmaynard on June 10, 2012 01:56

    End of Day 1-History is based upon what one experiences and is taught. What I learned today are things I have not experienced, nor I was taught in school. The cumulative effect of systemic policies have affected our nation for hundreds of years, and in our journey there is much to undo. Our journey continues in order to effect what is not only moral, but to effect succeeding generations.

  2. cknudsen on June 10, 2012 02:05

    International Civil Rights Center and Museum:

    Scars on the backs of slaves, fire hoses spraying children (with force that would take the bark off trees), segregation of schools, “all white” lunch counters, the beatings and murders of individuals, were some of the incidents that led to the “lunch counter sit-ins” in Greensboro, NC by four students from Ag and Tech College of Greensboro. They went to the Woolworth Five and Dime on Feb. 1, 1960 and sat at the counter to be served. This set the stage for similar “sit-ins” in cities all over teh country effectively ending the “lunch counter” segregation.

    Another marvelous part of the day was meeting meeting on the tour: Linda and Chris from Carlow College in Pittsburgh, John from Geneva, Wendy from Slippery Rock, and Regina from beaver Falls High School.

    Looking forward to learning more tomorrow on our next adventure!

  3. jhuffman on June 12, 2013 04:49

    Being a child in the 1960s my earliest memories of the wider world are of black-and-white television newsreels from Selma and Birmingham to Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. I admired the faith and convictions of those who bore such undeserved suffering just for seeking basic human dignity and civil rights. But I learned much more today from Joanne Bland about bearing the traumas and scars as well as the victories in the struggle. There is nothing more powerful to help us grasp the reality of the civil rights movement than to see it incarnated in the lives of those still with us who walked the walk and suffered personal wounds and losses in the journey. And what I find most powerful is the fact that so many of the freedom fighters were young people. As today is the 50th anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers, my thoughts turn also to him and his sacrifice, with gratitude that although he was silenced by violence, so many other young people lived on to continue witnessing to the truth. In this context I am also reminded of the remarkable words of Martin Luther King, Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.” King’s warning has become more prophetic with every passing year of my adult life. There is still much work to be done, both in the full observance of civil rights as well as in forming/reforming the church into a home for women and men who incarnate an authentic Christianity such that the next generation chooses to embrace the church instead of dismissing it as an irrelevant social club. Perhaps these two unfinished tasks for the church might best be achieved in tandem.

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