Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day Two (feels like one)

Saturday, the fifth of January. I can hear the sirens of the cop cars within a few blocks away. I can smell the faint smell of Atlanta's air through my partially stuffed nose :p As I'm beginning my reflection/journal for today, I find that I'm still lacking in knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement. And that upsets me. I wish I had prepared myself more for this trip and its events and speakers, especially for today at Morris Brown College with our speaker Mr. Charles Person. It's not every day that we can meet such an amazing person like Mr. Person. (get the punny-ish remark? lol) Anyways, I should have prepared myself more with questions about Person's contributions in the Civil Rights Movement as a Freedom Rider. Before this trip, I never really knew much about Freedom Riders. I was never really into these things. But now that I'm actually here in the South, putting myself in the perspectives of the people who live here, I feel that I can actually revel in my surroundings and the memories and knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement.

While the trip is free for me and my fellow Blugold Beginnings Learning Community members and don't have to take the class, I plan on taking the WMS 222 class in the Spring. I want to know more about social injustices and the history of the black people during the mid-twentieth century.  I'm Hmong so I feel I can empathize with many other minorities as well. Like how blacks were oppressed and given limited rights, some Hmong back in Laos or wherever they are oppressed and in hopeless situations like the blacks were in the past. Although I am not all too familiar with my background and culture, which really should not be the case, but I know that many of my people are too in need. I hope to use the knowledge I gain from this trip and class for my people and myself.

During this trip I will also be making a short film of our pilgrimage to the South. I'm hoping to be able to complete this project along with the help of Jodi. This project will be done in place of my Honors credits. So I hope to get an excellent experience out of this project as well as capture the experiences of every other person on this trip.

Lastly, I will write about our discussion. I kind of actually enjoyed discussing what we discussed today. It was another opportunity for us to reflect on what we learned today about the Freedom Riders and privileges. Also, being able to engage in conversations with other students allows me to put myself in others' perspectives and see the difference in how we all think.

Today was quite a day with our CNN tour and our walk around town but it was a fun day. I hope to feel like this every day and be able to accomplish everything that I will need to in the near future.

-Vivian M. Xiong, Freshman @ UWEC

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