University of St. Thomas Magazine Fall/Winter 2020

diverse array of content – when we search for stories advocating for racial justice that are intentionally downsized – we can begin to understand why there would still be protests about racial justice today.

addict making him worthy of such a brutal death. This interpretation of Black people was created during the Atlantic slave trade and has fueled white supremacy to this very moment. Going to the Deep South on this trip and analyzing the civil rights movement has allowed me to recognize how much closer we are to a past of enslavement and Jim Crow laws than we are to a future in a mythical post-racial society. Alyssa Eggersgluss, senior, music education We can hear echoes of voices from the civil rights movement in the words of Black Lives Matter protesters today. BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] individuals are still fighting for equality and basic compassion. However, it’s easy for people with privilege and power to downplay the systemic problems at hand because they haven’t lived or learned about these experiences. The narrative of race widely taught in America is too

Photos of arrested Freedom Riders in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi.

Jonathan Rosario, junior, psychology and communication studies Reflecting on the trip, what comes to my mind is the fact that systems of oppression have been in place for centuries, and resilience and community are catalysts for overcoming these systems. A specific quote that stuck out to me from the We March for Justice trip was from Dr. Flonzie Brown Wright, when she said, “Movements change, but commitments don’t.” That got me thinking about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Philando Castile and countless others who have lost their lives to a system that profits off of fear and pain. We’re currently living in a racially charged time, being able to learn from the past and the experience that I had on the trip really brought to light stories and experiences that cement this conclusion for me: No matter what the movement looks like, no matter how much they try to tell us that our commitment is futile, we will continue to tirelessly fight for equity and advancement of Black lives. n

Civil rights historian and foot soldier Joyce O’Neill speaks to students, staff and faculty at Brown A.M.E. Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama.

often a dismissive story from those in power. Many people treat the civil rights movement like the end of racism. A white narrative too often frames it that way. When we take the time to engage thoughtfully with a

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