Life of a Crossroads Fellow-Weeks 5-6

Hi bloggers!!

I won’t write as much as I did last time! Well these past two weeks have been pretty busy to say the least. Not so much as field trips, but interviews and LOTS of TEI. As I write this blog, I am processing an interview that I was camerawoman for. The interviewee was Mr. Vernan Shaw, and he’s  the vice principle of Manassas High School. It is a pretty interesting interview, and hopefully it’ll be posted on the website by the end of this week. Hopefully.

Hyde Park team have two interviews this week. The one I am eager for is the one on Friday. We are interviewing five people from the Northside High Alumni Association. This interview will be the biggest interview Crossroads have ever done. I am really excited about this interview.

Told you this blog will be shorter than the other! I will keep you updated on the success of our interviews.

Peace and blessings,


Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm  Comments Off on Life of a Crossroads Fellow-Weeks 5-6  

Life of a Crossroads Fellow-Weeks 1-4

Hello bloggers!!

I am Treshain, and I am a member of the Hyde Park team. These past weeks have been pretty interesting, to say the least. As a native Memphian, I am eager to learn everything I possibly can about the city I call home, and I’m doing this at Crossroads. A prime example of this would be with the “lovely” processing I’m working on. It is very interesting to hear the interviewees talk about their neighborhood and mention different streets and landmarks I see on a daily basis. One particular interview that I processed is one by Miss Annah Lee Early. She tells the story of the groundbreaking of Evergreen Presbyterian Church and her church giving monies to President Rhodes at Southwestern. Since I currently attend Southwestern (now known as Rhodes College after President Rhodes) and had my Honor Code signing at Evergreen Presbyterian, I have a personal connection with this woman’s history.

Another goal of Crossroads is to give the Civil Rights Era a human face. This is done, I feel, when we watched the “I Am A Man” documentary. It focuses on one particular man named Elmore Nickleberry, a sanitation worker in Memphis who participated in the 1968 sanitation strike and still is employed as a sanitation worker in the Downtown Memphis area. He is 77 years old. This documentary also includes other former sanitation workers and their stories, along with their families. When the Crossroads group went to the Civil Rights Museum last Friday, I passed by the sanitation strike exhibit and thought of the stories I heard in that documentary. Instead of thinking of what I learned in the history books throughout my early school years, I thought of the painful yet thought-provoking stories that the former sanitation works told.

I feel that is the goal of Crossroads, to humanize the Civil Rights Era, and give it a face. An unknown face. An everyday face. Although it’s nice to know the big names, knowing the everyday person’s stories allows one to realize that everyday people went through this. Just because their story isn’t in the history books doesn’t mean it isn’t important. And I’m proud to say that I am now a part of that goal, gathering these stories and sharing them with the world.

Wow, didn’t think I was going to write this much. Hopefully this time next week I will have just as much to tell you. I’ll just shrink it down a little bit. 🙂

Peace and blessings,


Published in: on June 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm  Comments Off on Life of a Crossroads Fellow-Weeks 1-4  

Connecting Service and History

This summer, I am working with Team Hyde Park with a focus on Cypress Creek and its effect on that community historically and presently.  Prior to this summer, my experience of the creek, I thought, was very indirect.  Volunteering with MIFA delivering meals to the elderly, many of whom live in Hyde Park and a few whose homes flank the creek itself, and tutoring at KIPP/Diamond Academy has brought me into relative contact with the creek’s presence.  But to me it was more of a natural element to the landscape—a rather large physical feature that didn’t have much bearing on the people themselves.   

My Crossroads research has taught me differently.  I learned that contaminated soil from the creek was used during construction of several schools around the area, including Cypress Middle, the same building where KIPP/Diamond is housed.  Additionally, much contaminated soil was dumped onto residents’ properties, probably affecting many of the same people I delivered meals to time and time again. 

With this historical understanding of the creek’s influence on individuals—people we will be interviewing later this summer—I am able to deepen my understanding of service on a personal and community-based level.  The creek’s physicality now carries more weight in the context of the histories of its channelization, the Hyde Park community, and those generations of volunteers and other interested parties who are drawn to this area.


Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm  Comments Off on Connecting Service and History  

Crossroads Goals

Long-time reader, first time poster. 🙂 One of the team members gently reminded me that I had neglected to send everyone the project goals Dr. Wigginton shared with them on the first day of training. So here they are. Teams, what are the ways that your projects and progress contribute to these goals?

Crossroads to Freedom Goals

  •         Involve the community in telling the story of the civil rights struggle in Memphis, while preserving the stories of those involved along with other primary documents of the era.        
  •    Foster conversation in the community about the impact of this era on race relations in Memphis today.
  •         Engage our students in community-based learning that connects to academic learning, through their role in creating, maintaining and managing the archive.


Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 9:18 am  Comments Off on Crossroads Goals