Teachers Reflections on Their Historic Journey

 “The Memorial for Peace and Justice was, by far, the most emotional part of our visit. Like many in our group, I began by taking pictures of the lynching memorials of victims in North Carolina, but quickly found that there were so many that it became overwhelming. Getting through that memorial required multiple stops to collect myself. As Selma director Ava DuVerney said after her visit, ‘Every American that believes in justice and dignity must come here.’”

— Larry Bosc, retired history teacher, East Mecklenburg HS

 “‘The assumption of guilt and dangerousness has been assigned to African Americans.’  This was from The Legacy Museum. It made me weep because I have lived this. Not because of me, but through others’ assumptions of me because I am an African American.”

— DeNise Gerst, science teacher, Barringer Academic Center

“‘Ordinary people do extraordinary things,’  from Dr. Shirley Cherry. I’ve made this a mantra for one of my 4th grade girls! The following poem is from the Peace and Justice Memorial. I keep rereading this because it just calls to me. There is an absolute faith that we can and will all learn to speak the truth of what happened to African Americans in our country and what still happens every day.”

— Tracy Kennedy, 4th/5th grade teacher, E.E. Waddell Language Academy

“For the hanged and beaten.

For the shot, drowned and burned.

For the tortured, tormented and terrorized.

For those abandoned by the rule of law.

We will remember.

With hope because hopelessness is the enemy of justice.

With courage because peace requires bravery.

With persistence because justice is a constant struggle.

With faith because we shall overcome.”