On Friday, April 22, a small group of dedicated history students gathered around the rock at 6:30 am, ready to board a bus. They were on a field trip planned by AP U.S. History teachers Jeffrey Feinstein and Julie Cruz, and their destination was Farmville, Virginia, and a high school where regular students decided to take a stand for their rights as Americans.
As soon as they arrived at former Moton High School, the first thing the students did was say the pledge of allegiance.
“One of the things missing from the pledge of allegiance is any mention of equality,” Feinstein said he asked his students if equality is a core American value. “Of course it is, it’s in the Declaration of Independence!”
After reciting the pledge, they were ushered into the school-turned-museum, where they watched a short movie about the importance of Moton High School, where the first ever student led walk out was held. When that was finished, a speaker who lived through the event talked to them about his personal experience as a young black man growing up under Jim Crow laws.
“Some of the kids were so moved by what he said that they gave him hugs,” Mr. Feinstein said of the speaker. “I was the last person to talk to him, and he had tears dripping down his face; we were all so moved.”
Mr. Feinstein said that after the trip, one student told him that the school should make the field trip required for all AP U.S. students.
After visiting the museum, Feinstein was so moved by the experience that he decided to write an article for PBS about the trip, and the effect that it had on him and his students.
Mr. Feinstein’s published article can be found [here]