Stu­dents hear about cur­rent civil rights

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Zachary Sr­nis

Charles McKin­ney spoke with stu­dents Feb. 13 at Rocky River High School about cur­rent so­cial move­ments and how lessons can be learned from his­tory.

“My goal, and what I hope these kids leave with, is the ques­tions we are cur­rently ask­ing about civil rights have roots in his­tory,” said McKin­ney, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of his­tory at Rhodes Col­lege in Mem­phis.

“What was asked dur­ing the Civil Rights Move­ment and Re­con­struc­tion eras, are still be­ing asked to­day.

“It’s find­ing the idea of what are rights, who has them and who doesn’t.”

McKin­ney said the same ques­tions need to be asked to have a bet­ter so­ci­ety.

“Things are un­equal, it’s as sim­ple as that,” he said. “We have yet to ad­e­quately an­swer these ques­tions.

“They will not be prop­erly an­swered or ad­dressed un­til the na­tion truly forms a more per­fect union. It will never be per­fect, but it’s about the strug­gle to build some­thing bet­ter; there’s beauty in that as Dr. (Martin Luther) King (Jr.) put it.”

McKin­ney said the big­gest mis­con­cep­tion about the Civil Rights Move­ment is some feel it’s over.

“Don’t get me wrong, gains were achieved, but we’re not done,” he said. “Peo­ple like to think it was with­out strug­gle.

“We have for­got­ten the re­sis­tance by politi­cians, peo­ple in power and many cit­i­zens. It wasn’t some­thing ev­ery­one agreed with.

“Peo­ple need to re­mem­ber the fight and rec­og­nize we aren’t done. There is more ground to gain.”

McKin­ney said he feels it is good to have these dis­cus­sions around Black His­tory Month, but it shouldn’t end there.

“Civil rights isn’t some­thing that can be booked for one month, then for­got­ten,” he said. “Many peo­ple have lived, and still live, through that strug­gle all the time.

“It is great that the month raises these ques­tions and gets peo­ple think­ing about where civil rights are. We need to take these dis­cus­sions and con­tinue, be­cause there is more that can be done.”


Charles McKin­ney speaks to stu­dents at Rocky River High School about cur­rent so­cial move­ments and how they re­late to sim­i­lar move­ments of the past.

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