Monday, September 15, 2008
Ridin' The Bus
I chose to read the Civility and Civil Rights text after I rode the bus through Greensboro. The reading did not really affect my perception of the bus ride, although I enjoyed both. The bus ride was better than I thought it would be. I was able to ride the bus on Thursday, which gave me an opportunity to benefit from other classmates advice, such as to have your student ID ready or the bus driver will yell at you. While on the bus we sat across from one lady who had a particular interest in sharing a complaint she had about the public transportation system with the bus driver. I loved seeing the passion that she had about the matter, just like the four college boys that started the Woolworth sit-ins. She spoke of going to a council meeting to voice her opinion as well, and the bus driver was extremely supportive of her efforts, saying that it was important for the public to voice their opinions about it.
The reading for me was just as inspiring. Although I had heard the story of the Greensboro sit-ins, I had not heard it since I’ve lived in Greensboro. For me, this gave me a completely new perspective of the story. Knowing where the Woolworth building is in downtown Greensboro really helped me relate to the situation. It scares me that this happened only 48 years ago. The story of the boys staying seated despite harassment from the store as well as spectators, and choosing to stand up for what they believe is the right thing; that is something that I would love to be able to do myself and I respect them for having that courage. After that first day, the boys continued to come back to the store each day, bringing with them more followers than that previous day. They were able to get the ball rolling by catching the attention of nearby towns, and eventually there were sit-ins happening all across North Carolina.
I also enjoyed the story about Josephine Boyd, as that also occurred in Greensboro. She, like the boys at Woolworth, took it upon herself to make a change in the world. Josephine believed that she had the right to go the white high school for her senior year as opposed to the black high school that was much farther from her house. She attended the white high school all year long despite the harassment she was inflicted with by her fellow classmates. She did however receive support from a few students and teachers, and found it in herself to finish the year and graduate in the top ten percent of her class.
This experience was rewarding for me. I found a lot to be inspired by as far as who I can be as a person. I see a lot of things in the world that I think need to be changed, especially now more than I ever have before. These stories and the woman I met on the bus show me that one person can make a difference.
***photos are not uploading on blogger