A Wonderful Learning Experience

Since beginning Crossroads to Freedom, I  have learned so much information that to pick just one thing is slightly challenging. Nonetheless, I am to pick something that I have learned and share it with you all. Memphis itself is nothing but a history landmark, so much has taken place here that it might take one a lifetime to fully grasp the scope of everything. My group is a part of the Cotton Carnival Project. Having not been from Memphis, I knew nothing about them, and conversing with my fellow partners, many also knew nothing about this extravagant event. It is hard to believe that back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s this was an event that was celebrated by people who essentially did no work, but from the work of others. It was shocking to understand that this was exclusive only to the rich and people whose name meant something, excluding the people who helped get them to the position they now occupy. Not at anytime where these people recognized for their hard work and labor. However, I am glad that there were individuals who felt that, just as much as you all were able to celebrate money and status, we (African-Americans) can do the same.

The celebration of the Cotton Makers’ Jubilee was slightly different, in that it did not exclude people, but rather welcomed everyone to be a part of something in which the community could enjoy. The division was still clear as the Cotton Carnivals still continued to operate with their exclusivity, but never did Dr. Henson and his wife (the founders of Cotton Markers’ Jubilee) not support the Cotton Carnival or try to make it something that only select individuals attend. It was about coming together and enjoying the company of the people and celebrating achievement and forward progression. It brings me great joy that I have and still am learning so much about Memphis, which at one point in time was a city that I did not think much about and thought it was nothing but crime infested. However, seeing the different areas, talking to various people, understanding time and progression here, I have come to appreciate Memphis and everything that it has to offer the people here, the city and the rest of the world. I could continue about the Sanitation Workers Strike, Martin Luther King, Jr., Beale Street, or even the Record Industry here, but I suppose that is for another time. Overall, I have learned and am learning that history is everywhere, and one must not be afraid to learn about it, because you never know how you will be able to connect with it or be the change that it requires.

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Published in: on June 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm  Comments Off on A Wonderful Learning Experience  
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