Trip Transports Hive Students to a Harsh Time


Paul Thornton

St. Benedict’s teachers and students stop in Montgomery, Alabama, as part of a journey visiting sites that are milestones of the Civil Rights Movement.

For years, the buzzes of students at the Hive have been heard in places around the world, with the Hives’ connections covering a great distance. And now, as part of a new Spring Phase Project titled, “Insights Beyond Newark: An Exploration of the American South and the History of the Civil Rights Movements,” the Gray Bees’ buzzes are being heard in the South.

Since their arrival on May 5 — accompanied by Science Department Chair and Chemistry teacher Dr. Dennis Lansang, and Head Administrator and School Photographer Mr. Michael Scanlan — they have spent time visiting places of key importance to the Civil Rights Movement, and reading and reflecting on each of those places’ history. At Kelly Ingram Park in Montgomery, Alabama — a place where police attacked anti-segregation protesters in 1964 — the group, according to Mr. Scanlan, took a moment to read primary source accounts of the events. Jules Gouton SY, in this blogsite through which trip members have been updating us, wrote, “The park challenged me to ask whether my family, my community in Newark and I are leaving the death and the struggles of people who have sacrificed their lives in Kelly Ingram Park in vain.”

In Montgomery, they have also visited the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. served as pastor from 1954 till 1960.

Students are reporting powerful experiences already.

Jesus Paulino SY wrote about his visit to the Civil Rights Institute. “Walking through the exhibits transported me to another time,” he said. “I marched, I sang and felt fellowship with those with me. But also, I was hosed down, I was bombed on a Greyhound bus, I was bombarded by racial slurs.”

During their remaining time, members of the group will visit other locations within Birmingham, Alabama; Selma, Alabama; the Mississippi Delta, and Memphis, Tennessee. Kevin Jackson, UDII, after returning, hopes to “share things I learned on this trip with [others].”

The group returns May 22.

Here is the full link to the group’s blogspot for more updates: