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Civil Rights Trip: Shadwick

Elijah Shadwick ’20 — As we continued our journey through the Deep South into Thanksgiving Day, I was able to reflect on the economic aspect of the Civil Rights Movement and the effect it had on these small towns throughout our trip. Today, we stopped in Meridian, Mississippi and spent a half hour exploring the Civil Rights Trail present there. As one of my colleagues pointed out, Meridian was a “ghost town”, void of the city life present in some of our other visits like Birmingham and Montgomery. It seemed to me that many of the smaller towns we visited had, at one point, been extremely popular for their historical significance and the citizens of these towns used this popularity for self-profit. After Meridian, we left and visited Jackson, Mississippi where we walked through an area seemingly devoid of the vibrancy and life so evidently present in the 1960’s. This may be because it was Thanksgiving Day, but I doubt that the turnout was any different on any other day. This was a disappointment to me mainly because if we do not pay attention to history, it is destined to repeat itself. By leaving important artifacts and sites in dilapidated conditions we are allowing a terrible past to fade away, and this realization scares because although this trip has been informative and educational, I know that much blood was shed on the original trek and I do not wish for those sacrifices to be for nothing.