Upper School Travels to the Heart of the Civil Rights Movement

By History teacher Andy Bigelow
Alongside Spanish teacher Liz Villagomez and myself, 23 eager juniors and seniors took part in an incredible opportunity to dive into the heart of the Civil Rights Movement.

Led by our fearless guide, Dr. Martha Bouyer (Out of the Box Tours), we began our journey in Jackson, Mississippi and visited Tougaloo College (HBCU), the Medgar Evers home and the Mississippi Freedom Civil Rights Museum. We traveled through the Mississippi Delta and visited the deteriorating Bryant Family Store, where Emmitt Till’s horrid story began, and finished with a visit to the recently restored Sumner Courthouse. We even visited Club Ebony where BB King and Ike and Tina Turner performed. Our trip included visits to incredible sites, museums and places that are considered hallowed ground in the struggle for civil rights on the way to Memphis, Tennessee.

Among the places we visited was the National Civil Rights Museum, which is housed in the Lorraine Hotel, the site of Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination; we had several opportunities to meet with veterans of the movement, as well as take full advantage of the historical knowledge of Dr. Bouyer and her daughter, who recently graduated from law school and works in public housing. We toured the home of the Slave Haven, a restored “station” on the Underground Railroad. We finished our journey at the Stax Studios Museum, where many artists got their start (i.e., Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes). 

We hope to return to Alabama for next year’s civil rights tour. 

Click here for photos from Villagomez.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.