The Commerce Journal

Local News

June 12, 2013

Civil rights trip an eye-opening experience for students, teachers alike

COMMERCE — History has well documented the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s through film and still images.

But, according to Dr. Lavelle Hendricks, assistant professor of Psychology, Counseling and Special Education at Texas A&M University-Commerce, it’s even more powerful to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and to speak with ordinary citizens who stood up to oppression years ago in Birmingham, Ala.

Hendricks, along with Dr. Dan Jones, president of A&M-Commerce, and 22 A&M-Commerce students recently returned from a four day trip to visit the various sites of the Civil Rights movement.

“It was just an eye-opening experience,” he said.

The trip was completely funded by Frank and Rosalie Turner. Rosalie is an East Texas State University Alumnus who recently wrote the book, “March with Me” and visited A&M-Commerce to speak on the subject.

Hendricks said that Rosalie was so encouraged by the discussion she had with the students, she decided to begin funding a yearly trip for students to travel to Birmingham on a culturally enriched trip to help them better understand the Civil Rights movement.

“All of us who were there had heard of everything,” he said. “But it’s an entirely different experience to walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge.”

Students had the opportunity to sing in the 16th street church, which was bombed in Sept. 15, 1963, which killed four women.

The group also sang before the mayor of Birmingham.

Hendricks said the mayor was so impressed with their singing that he “invited our students to come back and sing in the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement next year.”

The most memorable event of the trip for Hendricks happened when they arrived on the front porch of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“The curator handed the key to the lock and allowed Dr. Jones to unlock the door to Martin Luther King’s house,” he said. “Words cannot explain how this has helped.”

Hendricks said this trip helped bridge the gap for many of the students to understand what their parents and grand parents went through.

“I have had parents call me, crying, who haved lived throught that to have their kids get the opportunity to visit these locations,” he said.

According to Hendricks, this is a showcase of an alumni reaching back to another generation to further the student’s education.

“I can’t thank Frank and Rosalie Turner enough,” he said. “It was a very emotional trip and a lasting experience.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • A&M-Commerce announces guaranteed tuition plan

    Texas A&M University-Commerce will roll out a new guaranteed tuition plan called [in]tuition beginning in the fall semester of 2014. [in]tuition guarantees all students a set rate on tuition and mandatory fees for two or four years, depending on their classification.

    July 20, 2014

  • Muralupdate1.jpg Organizations come together to beautify Commerce

    Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Texas A&M University-Commerce and the City of Commerce have partnered to bring a new “Vintage” mural to Commerce, highlighting the city’s and iconic brand’s longstanding relationship and heritage.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canadian tour bus accident leaves one dead, 50 injured

    A teenage girl died and more than 50 people were injured when a Canadian tour bus skidded off Interstate 87, broke through a median guard rail and rolled on its side down a steep embankment in northeastern New York.

    July 19, 2014

  • Council approves members, passes glass bottle ordinance

    The Commerce Parks and Recreation Board is now fully staffed, following the approval of three members by the Commerce City Council.

    July 18, 2014

  • Dan_Flynn.jpg State lawmaker intends to re-file 10 Commandments legislation

    The Texas Department of Transportation initiated a fierce debate earlier this year after informing a Texas woman that she could no longer display a sign featuring the 10 Commandments.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gomery Michigan ex-prosecutor arrested in murder-for-hire plot

    A former Michigan prosecutor was charged Monday with soliciting a hitman to murder the attorney who represented a business partner in a contentious fraud and malpractice lawsuit over the ownership of a golf course.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • School tax rate increases

    Low property values and a decrease in enrollment caused a slight tax increase for Commerce Independent School District, according to Finance Director John Walker.

    July 14, 2014

  • g258000000000000000c4985ae14aba1b54c02044ccfe867384c3b14f48.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    Unchecked tears rolled down Paul Martin’s lined face as he clutched the hand of an Air Force servicewoman who handed him a handwritten note at the graveside service for his older brother.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet new pastor Dr. Gregory Neal, enjoy FUMC Commerce ‘Jeopardy’

    “What is a fun way to meet the new pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce?”

    July 11, 2014

  • Hospital to open next spring

    Hospital officials and local politicians were in Commerce last week to mark the ground breaking of Hunt Regional Emergency Medical Center at Commerce, an approximately $5 million facility that will be located on Highway 24 between Whitley Residence Hall and the President’s House.

    July 9, 2014

Featured Ads

Poll

How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
Facebook
AP Video
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide