The Civil Rights Bus Tour returned to TCU Saturday, May 24, after traveling to several historical sites in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. The group was lead by professor Max Krochmal and included two other faculty members and eight students.
“Going through the tour made you see [the impact of the civil rights movement] face to face,” sophomore political science major Alma Luna said. “It was an opportunity for TCU students to actually put into role our mission statement of becoming globally aware and coming out of our bubble to realize the world is not all like TCU.”
Krochmal said this trip experience was different than those of years past because the students “were so much more serious, and so much more engaged, so much more passionate, and really got that much more out of it because they were better prepared.”
The tour was a weeklong field trip for the May semester history course called “The Civil Rights Movement in America.” This is the first time that the bus tour has been offered through a class. The tour has previously been offered at TCU as a co-curricular experience.
The class was focused on the “student wing” of the civil rights movement, Krochmal said. Instead of focusing on a few key players in the movement, the course focused on “the nature of social movements and the role of grassroots activism,” according to the class’ syllabus.
“Now that I am coming out of the class, I have come to realize that while Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were extremely important, it wasn’t just about them. It was the local organizers, the local community leaders that gave life to the movement,” Luna said.
For the class’s final project, Krochmal gave students the option to choose from researching a specific part of the civil rights movement, comparing the civil rights movement to another movement, or applying the knowledge obtained in the class to the TCU community. The students are now working to create a club on campus to continue discussions about civil rights after the semester is over.