Engaging 11th graders at JHS with that phrase, Samuel Pugh from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute led them in a simulation of the power struggles during the 1950s and 1960s.
A dynamic presenter, Pugh spoke to each American History class. He started the lesson using a long, yellow rope. As students moved to different side of the rope, Government, Money, and Power “pulled” against the idea of Freedom.
Pugh then engaged participants with real life choices that young people in Birmingham faced as they decided whether or not to join the so-called “Children’s March” to protest racial discrimination in Birmingham during the summer of 1963.
The most memorable part of Pugh’s visit, according to Imari Hardy was, “When I learned that kids around my age stood up for what they believed in and they didn’t let anything stop them.” I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.”
That immersion into history brought a story of the Civil Rights struggle to students. Yes, the tug-of-war was eventually completed as the forces of Freedom pulled the Establishment to its knees.