During the summers of 1993 and 1994, groups of young people from the Boston area took part in an innovative educational initiative known as Project HIP-HOP (Highways into the Part: History, Organizing and Power). These students made a five thousand mile journey south to visit key sites of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and to learn about the power of nonviolence from people who were teenagers or younger when they participated in the movement. this two-part manuscript is about that journey. The first part, by Nancy Uhlar Murray, the chief organizer of Project HIP-HOP, describes how the idea of a "civil rights tour," with participants going into schools after the trip to share their experiences with their peers, evolved from efforts to encourage young people to explore racism, a root cause of the violence engulfing so many of their lives. The project operates on the premise that a largely ahistorical outlook that focuses on violence as if it were unique to this generation of urban youth serves neither young people nor the country and its future.
In the second part, seventeen-year-old Marco Garrido, a participant in the 1994 Project HIP-HOP tour, reflects on the lessons he learned from the trip. He writes vividly about his own efforts to understand the racism around him and of his encounters with the sties and the people of the civil rights movement.
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