by Caroline Tomlinson, Communications Content Manager
What better way to learn about the history of the civil rights movement than by traveling its route by bus? Cedarville University students are going to do just that. Leaving Thursday, Oct. 20, and returning Monday, Oct. 24, a group of 24 students and two faculty members will experience the history of the 1950s and 60s throughout the Deep South with the new course Civil Rights in America—Tour.
A charter bus will take the group to Memphis, Tennessee, and drive across Mississippi, much as the Freedom Riders did in 1963. The bus will reach Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, Alabama, all key spots during the civil rights movement. The bus tour’s final stop is Atlanta, Georgia, where the group will visit Atlanta Bible Baptist Church and The King Center.
Dr. Robert Clark, assistant professor of history at Cedarville and one of the faculty members leading the trip, believes the trip will provide students with effective ways to engage in American culture.This bus tour through the Deep South is designed to give students a realistic understanding of the civil rights movement and the evils of racism. Clark will be joined by Dr. Patrick Oliver, director of the criminal justice program at Cedarville. The two will teach this course, giving lectures, facilitating group discussions, and guiding students through the questions and emotions that come up along the way.
During the trip, students will watch various films depicting the realities of the movement. One such film, “Till,” tells the story of 14-year-old-Emmett Till, who was tragically murdered in 1955. This incident was the catalyst for the modern civil rights movement. This true story, which takes place in Drew, Mississippi, offers a glimpse into the horrors of racism in the 1950s.
“The purpose of the course is not to tell students what to think about practicing cultural competency,” said Oliver. “It is to help them know what they believe and articulate the evidence that supports it. It is also to help them understand how the civil rights history impacts race relations today and to understand ethnicity from a biblical worldview.”
Civil Rights in America—Tour is being offered this semester for the first time as a 3-credit hour, half-semester course that satisfies the elective requirement for social sciences or history. This course will benefit students from any major, as it encourages cultural competency, which is key in any profession or vocation.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual-enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including a bachelor's in history, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.
Cedarville University’s 2022 Civil Rights Tour Itinerary