Memorial Students Hear Civil Rights Movement Memories

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Memorial Junior High School ELA teachers Laura Dunham and Anne Larkin helped their eighth-grade students experience a part of living history. Betty McCorvey, who grew up in Selma, Alabama in the 1960s, shared her experiences about living in the South during the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights Movement.

Mrs. McCorvey's grandson, 8th grader Reese Kaufman, mentioned to his teachers that his grandmother had participated in the Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Selma protests for voting rights. Mrs. McCorvey graciously offered to share her story and described what life was like in Alabama in the 1960s, when she had to sit on the back of the bus and attend a separate school due to segregation. At a church meeting, she was lucky enough to shake Dr. King's hand and described him as a powerful leader because he was a good listener.

The students sat with rapt attention while listening to Mrs. McCorvey explain her life experiences in a racially divided state and were inspired by her moral courage to stand up for her rights during the Selma protests. She advised the students to study hard every day and to stand up when they see injustice.