Our nation did not want black pilots to go to war and they didn’t want to see black pilots come from war even if they had won many awards.
While on the Solano Community College Civil Rights Travel Course we went to Moton Field, one of the two places black pilots were trained to fly. It is just outside […]
I just came back from a Civil Rights Travel Course sponsored by Solano Community College. I’ll be sharing some of the things I learned. Some of them make no […]
“Call me Rat,” Frank Ratcliff says when he meets us at the door of The Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The twinkle in his eye suggests that we were going to learn about more than a blues landmark. We are going to learn a bit about him.
“Now it’s early in the morning It’s early in the morning It’s early in the morning And I ain’t got nothin’ but the blues.” (BB King)
B.B. King wrote this about losing a lover. Our blues come from having to get up at 5:30 in the morning to be able to check out of the dorm by 6:30. Breakfast will be on the road today – purchased on the run at McDonalds. We’ve had some long days, now, but today starts the earliest. Professor McCord is willing to add to the schedule if an opportunity presents itself, and it did. Another group we met swore the B.B. King Museum was the best, so she called to see if they would open an hour early for us. The answer: yes, so we have to be in the heart of the Mississippi Delta by 9:00 AM. Today’s tour will be rough and emotional, punctuated by cool and smooth. Fortunately, BB began this tour day with a brillant burst of musical wonder both invigorating and inspiring.
Frankeye Adams-Johnson says that she was a foot soldier, one of the thousands of marching young people in the 60s. She suggests that we need to inspire young people today […]
An entire day in one spot! We don’t have to pack or unpack, but that doesn’t mean we get to sleep in. Although we have an opportunity for a walking/driving tour of Jackson, I’m beat by this afternoon and I choose to take a nap rather than getting on the bus again. The most important place the others visited was Medgar Evers’ home. I’m afraid my mind was saturated before I got to today’s speakers. I need some time to process all that we have learned.
Please enjoy the article Sena Christian did on me in the Press Tribune.
In many ways Day 5 of the Solano College Civil Rights Travel Course is the most meaningful for me. In December of 1964 I turned eighteen – the magic number. Although black children had demonstrated in Birmingham and registered voters in projects in Mississippi and Alabama, I had to be an adult before I could volunteer to work with any of the major civil rights organizations. (I couldn’t vote. The voting age was still 21.) Selma occurred three months after I turned eighteen. I watched the marches there with different eyes than I had the civil rights events that went before.
Let’s talk creature comforts before we go back to Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. McCord has made sure there is a cooler full of ice and bottled water and she reminds us constantly that we need to drink it since we aren’t used to the heat and the humidity. And, there are snacks from chips, Fiber One Bars, brownies to many others. This is good planning since our meals are often far apart and we do get hungry.