Civil Rights

By: Donald Robinson
By: Donald Robinson

The fight for civil rights was not just about the rights of African-Americans. It was about the right for everyone to have the opportunity to get a good education, a good job, and be treated like the next man. Even now, the struggle continues.

"The problem we are having and the reason the struggle is not over is because our children don't know how we struggled," said Rev. Floyd Miles of Mt. Salem Baptist Church.

Rev. Miles told his congregation that children today don't have a sense of what the civil rights fight was all about, or who was involved.

"Our children have no idea," said Miles, "the only ones they remember is Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King.

If you ask many children, they will agree.

"I know the basics," said Karen Eggins who is a senior at R. E. Lee High School, "I don't know a lot because we don't ever cover it in school as much as we should."

"I know about Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglas, and Rosa Parks because in school they don't tell us much," said Brandon Johnson who is a junior at R. E. Lee High School.

Miles says the schools have a big responsibility to teach all the students about every heritage and expose them to more than the past.

"Yes, I charge you Staunton Public Schools," said Miles, "teach it to our children. We require it, we are citizens, we pay taxes and we demand it."

Others agree. Schools do need to do more, but so do the parents and students.

"I think it is my responsibility if the school and my educators don't teach me," said Eggins. "That's why I plan to take African-American Studies when I get to college."

"Our children don't know anything about the civil rights movement because we don't even take quality time to say let's sit down and have dinner together, like we use to do," said Rev. Miles.

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