University of St. Thomas Magazine Fall/Winter 2020

arrested while fighting for voting rights. In the Mississippi Delta, the students visited sites associated with the 1955 abduction and brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. So how can lessons from the civil rights movement be applied to the continuing struggle to overcome racial injustice in the United States? Here’s what some We March for Justice participants had to say. Cynthia Fraction, director of the Excel! Research Scholars Program and co-leader of We March for Justice Back then [during the civil rights movement] so many were fighting for the right to vote, to integrate courtrooms, desegregate schools and simply the human and civil right to live. Today we are fighting for many of the same things but our strategy in the fight must be different. Dr. Flonzie Brown Wright

in America. We must now fight with our minds and our hearts. Underscoring love and critical principle in today’s fight, Dr. Wright challenged us this year with a thought – “Movements move but commitments

16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, the site of a deadly Ku Klux Klan bombing that killed four young girls.

don’t change.” What I took from her challenge is the following: Knowledge is our power. If you are not educated you are not armed with the right ammunition and the struggle will continue. Nasteho Yasin, junior, international studies In many ways racism has changed to be more covert, but the brutal lynchings of Black bodies has never stopped being on public display. Emmett Till’s mangled body had to be shown to the world to see the brutality of white supremacy, but there was room to tell lies and twist the story of an innocent 14-year- old boy. However, you would think that currently with the advancement of technology and full recordings of Black people being lynched, there would be more justice, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The video of George Floyd’s death is powerful evidence of police brutality, however, because of racism, people view it with a different lens and assume that because he’s a Black man, he’s a criminal and a drug

Students and faculty look at the Four Spirits Sculpture in Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

underscores the importance of getting an education. She tells us that foot soldiers today are passing the torch to young people and knowledge is the weapon that we need to continue to impact change

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