Two days from now I'll be on the road and headed to Nashville, TN. This trip has been in the planning stages for almost 5 years!! Ever since I had the opportunity to visit some of the Civil Rights Movement "hotspots" in August 2004, I've wanted to go again (and expand the trip to include places that I didn't get to visit back then). Its not an understatement to call this a DREAM vacation. I understand that most people probably don't have "go on a Civil Rights Tour" on their personal bucket list, but I guess that's what makes me unique or special (a nice way of saying that I'm a total history nerd!).
So, why a Civil Rights tour? Everyone who teaches history probably has an era, event, or person that they are really passionate about and for me its the CRM. The reason is quite simple: there is something truly special about ordinary people with ordinary lives and careers who do extraordinary things. History is too often about the heroes and not enough about the "foot soldiers." I would never discount the contributions or Martin Luther King, Jr. or other civil rights leaders...without them a CRM wouldn't have captured the attention of the American public. But, there is something truly American about people like Fannie Lou Hamer (wife of a sharecropper in Ruleville, MS and leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democrats) or 10 year-old children going to jail to end segregation (Birmingham, AL Children's March) or Viola Liuzzo (killed helping with the march from Selma to Montgomery) playing an integral role in the CRM. In short, the CRM is a prime example that we ALL can make a difference if we stand up for something we believe in.
Thank you for joining me on this journey and thank you Eichenbrenner family for making it possible.