Doctoral college students research ‘Boy from Troy’s’ position in Civil Rights motion – The Troy Messenger

Graduate students from the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta visited Troy on June 25 as a tour stop at Civil Rights Sites in Alabama. Sites included the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, and the home of John R. Lewis in Pike County, a civil rights activist and leader who fought for the 5th death from 1987 through his year in office in the United States House of Representatives in 2020.

The tour was led by Dr. Gertrude Tinker Sachs, Chair of the Department of Middle and Secondary Education, College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University.

Before stopping in Troy, the tour group visited the Legacy Museum, which shows the history of slavery and racism in America, and followed the Troy tour with a visit to Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge, now a National Historic Landmark.

Shelia Jackson, Director of Tourism for the City of Troy, said the comments made by members of the tour group were very positive.

“They were grateful that the City of Troy recognizes and recognizes the important role of Congressman John Lewis in the civil rights movement,” said Jackson. “They enjoyed seeing where he grew up and meeting members of his family and hearing them speak so lovingly of their brother who grew up in rural Alabama and played such an important role in the national civil rights movement.”

Jessica Hormann, PhD student in language and literacy education, said that after meeting John Lewis’ family, it is no wonder that his legacy is one of humanity’s highest potentials for kindness and justice.

“John Lewis ‘brother and sister welcomed strangers from Georgia State University to the sisters’ home,” said Hormann. “All living things, from cattle to chickens to dragonflies, seeped through with the love they radiate. And that, as they said, came from their parents. ‘That’s just how we were brought up.’ “

Hörmann said when Lewis asked in his last book: “Why do we have to be so mean?” his question came from a place of innocence.

“John Lewis didn’t see why we couldn’t all just treat each other as his family treated me that day, with open arms and a loving heart,” she said.

Mawusk Kamabui Pierre, a graduate student at the Institute for Middle and Secondary Education, said he learned that Lewis was denied a library card and admission to the University of Troy because he was black during Troy legal segregation. But today there is a poster about John Lewis outside the Troy Public Library, and a building named after him is on the main Troy University campus.

“It means a lot to me because my mother is a professional storyteller and worked for the public library in our hometown,” said Pierre. “As an adult, I was given a library card in every city and state I lived in. Standing in front of the John Lewis poster on the public library grounds where he was denied access felt devastating and unbelievable. My appreciation for the freedoms he and so many have fought for and gained is very much appreciated. I am the new generation of activists fighting to defend Lewis’ victories and win many others that he did not see in his lifetime. “

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