DC Area Youth Stop In Memphis For Civil Rights History Tour

MEMPHIS, TN - A group of students are traveling throughout eight states, many in the Deep South, to learn about the Civil Rights Movement in America. One of those stops was Memphis. 
 
Elaine Turner of Heritage Tours explained how slaves who escaped their masters would hide in the cellar.
 
This historic home is now the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. It was stop slaves made to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Students with Operation Understanding DC stood where slaves once stood.
 
"It meant a lot to me, because I was standing on hallowed ground. There were hundreds of slaves who had passed through that house," said Jonah Gottesman. 
 
"Actually, being somewhere where slaves had to hide on the Underground Railroad, for me, it was really impactful, because I got to see where slaves risked their lives for their own freedom and in turn my freedom," said Nnenna Nwaezeapu. 
 
Students learned about songs they've heard all their lives and their hidden meanings. 
 
"It was about how those songs have a deeper meaning and it was how slaves would communicate," said Nwaezeapu. 
 
History jumped off the pages for these students visiting Memphis and who have spent six months studying the Civil Rights era. Visiting places like Slave Haven and a sculpture dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous Mountaintop speech delivered in Memphis.
 
The goal is for students to look back at the past to see their own potential as teenagers. 
 
"It's so important because the people who were shaping history were their age. They were out in the streets. They were leading the marches, the sit-ins, they were getting arrested," said Avi Edelman, program director of Operation Understanding DC

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