Photos and notes from the first day of the sixteenth annual Civil Rights Trip are now online
The fifteenth annual Civil Rights Trip began well before dawn.
The first day is always a big travel day, with an hour drive to Boston, a flight to Atlanta, and another three hours by bus to Montgomery.
In Atlanta, the Civil Rights history was visible right from the start.
Gordon history, too; Herb Brown, the bus driver, has been driving Gordon groups for as long as anyone can remember.
And there was history in the making, as well, hanging literally over the students heads at times.
Tomorrow, the Super Tuesday primary includes both Georgia and Alabama.
The day was spent at Morehouse College, a historically black men’s college originally founded in 1867 to prepare black men for the ministry.
The tour began in the school’s archives, where Gordon’s host, Mrs. Watley, talked them through the school’s history.
She also delighted in calling on Morehouse students as they passed, and having them all introduce themselves to the Gordon group.
When Eugene Finley, a recent graduate, took over the tour, the students’ first questions addressed the “historically black” character of the school.
As he talked through the history of the school’s culture, he explained how a segregated institution can come to serve as a sanctuary for people of color.
“The advantage for students is that they do not have to deal with the same level of microaggressions, and verbal and unspoken assumptions, that they do at a predominately white institution.”
That reality, he explained frankly, made it easier for students to learn.
Reflecting at the end of the day, several white Gordon students talked about the experience of being in the minority on the Morehouse campus.
They also admitted that, despite the differences, Morehouse reminded them of Gordon in ways.
The connection was there when Mr. Finley described the ideal Morehouse man as one driven to make a positive change in society.
But it was also there in the gentle give-and-take between Mrs. Watley and the students she all seemed to know by name.
And the connection was there when the eighth graders lingered on a plaza, working together and laughing quietly without raising an eyebrow.
more on the Civil Rights Trip at www.gordonschool.org/civilrights