Linda Rodriguez of St. Andrew’s School currently teaches MSON’s “A Nation Divided: Literature of the Civil Rights Movement in the Modern US. Next year, she will also teach “Global Voices of Oppression: Literature for Social Justice.” She shares a recent experience in her classroom:
Today in “A Nation Divided: Literature of Civil Rights in the Modern US,” we had the Director of Education for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, John Spann, speak to us and give us a gallery tour to show some of the artifacts that relate to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Of particular interest to the class was the exhibit depicting the lynchings of 600 Mississippians between the years 1890-1975. Additionally, Spann showed us an exhibit of the door from Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market in Money, Mississippi, where Emmett Till allegedly wolf whistled at the wife of Roy Bryant who later that night with the help of his brother-in-law abducted the 14 year old boy and killed him. This event, perhaps as much as any other, galvanized the Civil Rights Movement, inspired Rosa Parks to stay in her seat, and fueled the determination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Perhaps James Baldwin said it best: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
To hear more about this class experience, check out a student perspective from Freya Haque of Maret School.