Civil Rights Museum a great place to visit

Commentary by Ngozika A. Nwoko
Times-News correspondent
teens20@thetimesnews.com

GREENSBORO — If you are wondering of ways that you can learn more about African-American history during African-American History Month, or are looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, then look no further than the Civil Rights Museum.

The International Civil Rights Centerand Museum honors the sacrifices and accomplishments of the Greensboro Four, four North Carolina A&T State Universitystudents, who in 1960 started the sit-in activities at the Woolworth lunch counter and created a movement that eventually led to desegregation. It was a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

On Feb. 17, some students and faculty members from Alamance Community College (ACC) were given the privilege to tour the museum free of charge and learn a little bit about the historical significance behind it.

“We felt it would be a wonderful learning experience for students and would give them a chance to learn about our unique local black history,” said JJ Evans, an adviser of Clubs and Organizations at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

Many students, myself included, wanted to go on the trip because it was a great opportunity to get out and learn more about the richness of our local African-American history.

There are several different exhibits that you can take advantage of learning about during the tour like “The Hall of Shame,” which exposes violence during the transitions of the civil rights movement to more positive exhibits like “The still I Rise,” which details athletes and performers who made great strides amidst the movement. Whatever your interests, there is something in the civil rights center that appeals to whoever enters.

Stuart Rice, a freshman at ACC learned many interesting and memorable things while on the tour.

“At the very end, our tour guide showed us this wall with all these pictures of those who had fought for Civil Rights like Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. Our guide also showed us how there were blank spots on the wall; he said that those were reserved for us to make a difference. That got me pretty hyped,” Rice said.

Although you would think that through school and growing up we would have learned so much about the civil rights movement, as the tour went on, students and teachers alike found that there was still so much more left to learn and appreciate.

“The tour is always interesting, and sometimes I feel that I never have enough time to read and review everything I would like. Looking at the video display of how the sit-in movement spread was the most interesting during this trip. I spent more time reading over the news articles and clipping, and I was surprised that the sit-ins spread as quickly and as far as they did within one year’s time,” Evans said.

When the tour was finished, Rice said the trip to view the Civil Rights Center and Museum was a day well-spent.

“I definitely say it is worth the trip, just make sure you go at your own pace even if on the tour. The guide may be moving on, but make sure he allows you to see and read all that you want.”

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is both an important reminder of the struggles and achievements made during the ’60s to present day and a great way to learn about the sacrifices made during the civil rights movement. It helps folks gain a better understanding of African-American history, not only during African-American History Month, but year-round, too.

“Remember we stand on the shoulders of giants, because those who have gone before us pave the way for us to stand today,” Evans said.

For information on the visiting hours and ticket cost please contact theInternationalCivilRightsCenterand Museum at (336) 274-9199 or email them at info@sitinmovement.org.

 Ngozika A. Nwoko is a freshman at Alamance Community College and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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