For the first time, the TCU Civil Rights Bus Tour will be offered for class credit.
Students will learn about race, racism and other forms of oppression that still exist today this May during the summer session led by TCU history professor Max Krochmal. The bus tour will take students to visit different civil rights landmarks and students will also be able to talk to people who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
Krochmal said the course focuses largely on how these activists were normal college students at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, and that they were able to make a difference.
The tour also allows students to learn about social change and social justice with a different approach.
“Because we do have such a strong emphasis on how students can make a difference, I think it really has a profound impact on people,” Krochmal said.
Krochmal said the class will last three weeks and with each week focusing on another element of the course.
The first week will be spent learning the basics of the Civil Rights Movement and preparing for the trip. The second week will be the bus tour, and the third week will be spent reflecting on the trip, he said. The class has no final exam, Krochmal said.
The bus tour lasts six days, spanning though historical civil rights landmarks throughout Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, he said.
Instead, students will form groups and present on another movement of interest in history or in another part of the world, or present a plan for change that they think is important, he said.
“We look at the past to learn about the present and to help the students change the future,” Krochmal said.
In the past, the bus tour was conducted over winter break as an extracurricular activity, he said.
The class is open to any major or classification, and counts for CORE credit as Social Science (SSC), and Historical Traditions (HT) or Citizenship and Social Values (CSV).
Joe Vera, a sophomore political science major, said he is planning on enrolling in the course. He became interested after reading a book about the Civil Rights Movement.
“What got me excited about this tour is getting the hands on portion of the class,” he said. “It’s not just sitting in a classroom, we would get to physically see things.”