Students Learning About Civil Rights in Mobile Museum

Nov 16, 2015

Credit thehenryford.org

Students from Rochester were on board a civil rights museum on wheels today, engaging with a renowned civil rights activist, and other students from Tampa Florida, through a digital national classroom.

The local students came from School Without Walls, and Gil Rosa teaches the civil rights course.

The class was held on a transit bus, the same make and model as the one on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama 60 years ago.

Gil Rosa says as part of the course, students heard from Lulu Westbrook, who, at the age of 12, was arrested and sent to jail for 45 days in Leesburg, Georgia, for being a civil rights activist.

"No running water, they were only fed once a day, horrible conditions, and at one point one of the guards threw a rattlesnake in the room with these kids.  Their parents didn't know where they were, they were 30 miles away from their house."

Rosa says Westbook's stories, along with the bus and all its memorabilia, represents an experience that can't be found in the typical classroom.

He says holding the class on board the "civil rights museum on wheels" demonstrates that learning doesn't have to take place in the traditional classroom setting, with a teacher standing in from the kids lecturing to them.