By: Dayton Bissett
Missouri Western traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, to learn about civil rights and the history behind it.
Legal studies professor Dr. David Tushaus was the lead of this trip.
“The inspiration for this trip was that I had been to Memphis a few years ago and went to the National Civil Rights Museum,” Tushaus said. “The National Civil Rights Museum was created by private people to document the civil rights movement at the location where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.”
Tushaus and a group of students were able to experience this historical trip. They had the pleasure of having a tour guide who experienced the civil rights movement first hand take the group on a historical tour of Memphis.
“The historical tour was the most impactful part of the trip,” Tushaus said. “A big reason for that is because Elaine Lee Turner was our tour guide. She had been arrested three times during protests of the civil rights, protesting segregation. So, having an opportunity to see and meet one of the everyday heroes of the civil rights movement is something you can’t create in a classroom.”
This was a very historically packed trip. Students were thrown into the history of civil rights, not just at the museum, but everywhere they went. Even where they ate for lunch.
“After our Civil Rights Museum tour, we stopped at the Four Way Soul Food Restaurant, which is a place where Martin Luther King ate,” Tushaus said. “So there we were, continuing our tour over lunch.”
Junior at Missouri Western Bodie McLin said in a reflection of the trip that the trip to Memphis exceeded his expectations.
“From the start I was able to immerse myself in the group and start to learn what different personalities I would be surrounded by for the next four days,” McLin wrote. “The wide variety of majors allowed me to gain a different perspective on what everyone hoped to get from the trip. Attending such a trip was immediately beginning to be the highlight of my time at Missouri Western.”
Student Sarah Wilson also wrote about how she was impacted by this trip.
“Throughout Memphis, I continued to think about how best to move on and make the future better than the past,” Wilson said. “The Civil Rights Movement truly is an incredible heartful piece of American history that schools do not always do justice.”