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Posts Tagged ‘ Collis Crews ’

Day 10: The Journey to Come

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

By Collis Crews

As we travel towards New Orleans, the intended final destination of original Freedom Riders, I realize that there is still a journey that we must continue. That journey is the struggle to eliminate the racial and social injustice that still persists today. Firsthand exposure to the living historians who traveled with us and visits to many of the key civil rights museums and churches across the South broadened my understanding of all that was sacrificed, and touched my heart in ways I never thought possible. I shed many tears along the way.

The Freedom Riders played a key role in the civil rights movement. If not for these brave men and women, African Americans and other minorities would still be living in segregated societies, suffering the adverse effects of racial oppression. It is troubling to see that, in spite of all the post-segregation gains made by civil rights activists such as the Freedom Riders, many young African Americans have either forgotten or are ignorant of their efforts. This is often demonstrated within our community by the lack of motivation to seek higher education, and failure to exercise civic responsibility due to voter apathy.

Today’s African American youth feel that we do not have anything to fight for, but they are wrong. Spending ten days traveling through history and being exposed to both past and current civil and human rights issues left me certain that there is still much work to do. Unlike our predecessors, we have the advantage of reaching out to millions through use of modern technology. We must act! In some ways our job will be harder because racism and discrimination is more disguised than it was fifty years ago.  However, through education, acceptance, and understanding, we can continue the efforts of the Freedom Riders and other civil rights groups who paved the way for our generation. As the new generation, it is our mission to continue the fight and I look forward to applying all that I’ve learned to help bring a positive change to the world.


Day 8: Collis Crews

Monday, May 16th, 2011


Day 5: Emotions

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

By Collis Crews

We left from Augusta, GA at around 8:30 am. and arrived in Atlanta at around 10:30  am. On the way to Atlanta, we had a poetry contest in which my fellow student riders came to the front of the bus to perform some sort of poem, song, or rap. As I was listening to the performances, I was also having a conversation with fellow student rider Anna Nutter. I was telling her about how the exhibits in the International Civil Rights Museum as well as the documentary The Murder of Emmett Till brought tears to my eyes. Seeing the grotesque face of Emmett Till after he was killed was very mind boggling and I asked myself, “In the case that Till’s murderers did have morals, where were they when they were beating and shooting him?” My emotions also spilled out because I was also talking to Anna about my late great-grandfather from Mississippi who, even when he came off as a happy and joyous person that would do anything for his community, I could still see the pain and suffering in his eyes from the oppression he dealt with under Jim Crow. Anna also inspired me to write a poem highlighting the emotions I felt during the ride. I called the poem “Are You Satisfied”, because there are a few people at my school, North Carolina A&T, who feel that I lack emotion and wish that I would gain some. It took me about ten minutes to write and when I recited it on the bus everybody loved it.

When we arrived to Atlanta, we visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King used to speak. I wish we could have spent more time at both places but we had to keep moving. While I was at the Church, I literally could feel Dr King’s spiritual presence and it was something that I wanted to keep feeling.

When we arrived in Anniston, AL, we were welcomed by a great dinner and afterward we went to the Freedom Riders reception in the Calhoun County Public Library located downtown. There we heard Charles Person talk about the emotions he felt coming back to Anniston and how fifty years ago he and his fellow Riders would have expected the complete opposite. When Person was telling his story, the tears were rolling down my face constantly. We discussed our emotions in a conversation when we got to the hotel.

Today I realized that before the trip, it was hard for me to express my emotions. I plan on coming back to A&T a new person who will find it easier to share his emotions, and this ride will do the trick.


Day 4: Collis Crews

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011


Newseum Event

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Day 2: Sarah Cheshire

Monday, May 9th, 2011


NC A&T State Press Release

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

A&T Student Selected for Freedom Ride
by Nettie C. Rowland

Collis Crews, a junior history major at North Carolina A&T State University has been selected for the 2011 Freedom Ride, an experiential learning opportunity for college students in conjunction with the broadcast of Freedom Riders and the 50th anniversary of the original May 1961 Freedom Rides.

From May 6-16, the Ride will be a moving classroom in which Crews and 39 other college students from across the country will retrace the route of the original Freedom Rides. Accompanied by filmmaker Stanley Nelson, original Freedom Riders and others, The Ride will engage students as they learn the extraordinary commitment and courage of the individual who took part in the Freedom Rides as well as the history that was taking place during that era. The Ride also is a way of launching a national conversation about the role of civic engagement in a thriving democracy, explore what issues inspire students to “get on the bus” today, and focus on the civic engagement that is taking place on college campuses and the communities across the country. Read more…


News & Record on the North Carolina Students

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

College Students to Re-Enact Freedom Rides for 50th Anniversary

GREENSBORO — Four North Carolina college students, including an N.C. A&T junior, are among 40 students selected to participate in marking the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Read more…


Student Rider: Collis Crews

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Greensboro, NC
Hometown: Katy, TX

Watch the full episode. See more Freedom Riders.