I had an AWESOME time last Saturday at the Museum. I was definitely in the company of great people, and I had a great experience! It felt amazing that I was actually standing inside an important piece of history…Woolworth’s! As I was walking through the museum, I felt like I was going through a timeline of events, with everything that took place during the Civil Rights Era. Definitely tried to soak it all in! I highly recommend this museum to ANYONE who is interested in Civil Rights!
I had such a good time at this museum. Growing up, I learned about the Civil Rights movement in all of my history classes but all of the photos and stories were in textbooks. To see the re-enactments and the displays that this museum had really brought to life all of the events that happened during this difficult time in American history. Walking through the museum, I kept trying to put myself in the shoes of these people and I found it impossible to do. The struggles and the violence blacks faced is hard to imagine. I had three favorite parts of the museum. The first was the wall of shame where I got to see graphic photos of the violence that took place. Seeing the photos and hearing the stories of what happened to these people was very powerful. My next favorite part was the Woolworth lunch counter. It was an amazing feeling to be standing in the exact spot where the sit-ins took place. It was such a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement and to be in that very spot, trying to imagine the atmosphere in 1960, was incredible. My third favorite part was the last room with the collage of photos of important people of the movement. I like how it made an overall photo of President Obama. But what I loved most were the empty spaces to symbolize that the fight is not over. While so much progress has been made since the 60s, there is always more progress to be made. I thought that was beautifully symbolized by the collage. I encourage everyone to tour this museum and take a deeper look into an integral part of American history.
I had a good time at the museum. I liked the reenactement videos of the Greensboro F. W. Woolworth’s Sit-In. It was cool to see the refurbished counter of F. W. Woolworth’s. it was also interesting to discover that the Woolworth’s counter was integrated when the store manager told his African-American employees to sit at the counter in their regular clothes.
It was interesting to learn that the Woolworth’s Sit-In movement inspired a Sit-In movement at Elizabeth City State because that college is only an hour away from my home.
I liked seeing the list of African-American Inventions in the Gift Shop. I didn’t know that Blacks had invented so many of the things on that list. Overall, I left the museum feeling inspired. I also would like to bring my eight-year-old cousin to the museum, when he gets old enough to process that information.
Robert Canida is the Director of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. He serves as an advocate and mentor to students at UNC Pembroke while upholding his duties as the Director. He is reachable via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) provides leadership and advocacy at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to support cultural diversity and to prepare students to interact in a diverse world. The ODI Team can be reached at email@example.com or 910.521.6508.