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‘ACU Freedom Riders’ retrace civil rights era in the South


The Abilene Reporter-News in Texas reports:

Two weeks ago, a group of Abilene Christian University students stood in front of Little Rock Central High School.
It was the same building where, in 1957, nine black students took on racial segregation in American education amid shouts, shoves and slurs.
All ACU student Alvina Scott could see was a beautiful building. It was so much bigger than she could have imagined: stone arches and broad staircases, blown up to a grand, Gothic scale.
She turned to her 30-year-old classmate Jennifer Watson and commented on how nice it looked. Watson, who like Scott is black, replied evenly, “It’s beautiful, but they didn’t build it for us.”
The moment wasn’t so much an epiphany for Scott as it was the spark of a slow-burning realization.

Read the full story.
See ACU psychology professor Richard Beck’s online journal on the trip.

  • Feedback
    I wish to commend you for taking this remarkable journey, both literally and spiritually. Unfortunately, there were so many (even now) who never understood the spiritual ramifications of this effort to achieve basic human rights under the law. Still there are those who do not understand that there are sins against humanity. From 1955 to 1965, I say with great shame that I was not sympathetic to the CR movement, even though I had started preaching in 1960. In fact during this time of such injustice, one of the most silent categories of people in the South was the preachers.
    I often wondered why Christian Colleges, congregations and individual Christians have not apologized for their indifference,and even support for the racists. You can be proud that you attend a Christian University whose former president issued an apology for not accepting black students. I’ve not seen other apologies or statements of repentance for our behavior or failure to stand for justice during that time. I attempted to get one *********** paper to print my brief statement of repentance, but they wouldn’t do it.
    One of my goals before the death angel comes is to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, with an reenactment or by myself. I should have been there on “Bloody Sunday.” After that a Church of Christ preacher from Selma went around the South speaking on how immoral these marchers had been.
    What we are seeing right now are efforts to redefine this movement. Here are the real goals of the CR movement: (1) the right to go to the courthouse and register and vote in public elections; (2) equal justice under the law; (3) right to public accommodations; (4) right to attend good schools; and (5) fairness in hiring practices.
    Harold Williams
    June, 6 2011

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