Office of the President

March 7, 2014

Civil rights pilgrimage

Michael K. Young

The Civil Rights Movement in the mid-20th century is an important chapter in our country’s history. The stories of courageous acts and sacrifices made to advance equality for all citizens are a mix of inspiration and oppression, agony and elation, and personify the struggles and victories during that time.

Indeed, the stories I heard directly from the families who were involved in the Brown vs. Board of Education case when I served on the 50th Anniversary Commission over a decade ago are fresh in my memory, and I have looked at the world differently ever since.

A group of UW supporters, students, friends and faculty are experiencing some other civil rights stories firsthand. UW Department of Communication Chair and Professor David Domke is leading the group to visit various landmarks and meet with individuals involved on a pilgrimage through the Deep South. To read about their journey, visit their blog.

The group visited Smith Hall (pictured below), where Ms. Autherine Lucy — the first black student at the University of Alabama — attended her first class.

Front of Smith Hall at University of Alabama

Smith Hall, where Ms. Autherine Lucy attended her first class at the University of Alabama.