Diane Nash and my friend, Troy Smith, who has taught his “Malcolm and Martin” undergraduate class for 20 years at different colleges and universities across Massachusetts.
Here’s what he had to say about this:
I was so moved today after watching the “Freedom Summer” documentary on PBS. To see Fannie Lou Hamer speak is to be inspired. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that was enacted on July, 2 of that year, I am reflecting on the many unsung heroines and heroes who risked and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
It was truly an honor for me to meet civil rights legends Ms. Diane Nash and Reverend C.T. Vivian at the Syracuse University College of Law back on March 20-23, 2014 during an emotional and empowering civil rights conference. They were invited by the SU Cold Case Justice Initiative, which investigates unsolved homicides from the Civil Rights era.
This summer as I teach three courses focused on the Civil Rights Movement at North Shore, Springfield, and Cambridge College, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with students of such diverse cultural backgrounds, ages and experiences. When students share the growth that they have experienced from their work in my course it means a lot. I feel that I am doing what I should be doing and that is a blessing. Tomorrow my North Shore Community College class will debate the proposition that, “Racism continues to grow in the United States even after the Civil Rights Movement era.”
I dedicate my summer classes to those pioneers who made today’s opportunities possible, and to the community oriented students of today who will make the social transformations of tomorrow a reality.