Rosa Weston helps students learn about the Civil Rights Movement

Photo of an employee

Rosa Weston being interviewed by students from GLOBE Academy.

Recently, Rosa Weston, a manager in Emory’s Technical Operations Center, volunteered to participate in a second-grade civics lesson about the Civil Rights Movement. As part of Black History Month, students at the GLOBE Academy were asked to find adults who were willing to talk about their Civil Rights experiences during the 1960’s.

The students had been learning about Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks, among others. The following are excerpts from Rosa Weston’s interview:

Student: Where did you grow up?

Rosa: I grew up in the small town of McClellanville, South Carolina, which is just north of Charleston. Our modest house was like most during that time, a single dwelling that men in the community helped build.  It was situated on several acres because back then everyone farmed the land. Conditions were rough but it was home.

Student: What are your memories of the Civil Rights movement?

Rosa: As a very young child, I led a sheltered life but I had friends and chores. I knew almost no white people or sense that I was being discriminated against until I went to middle school. It was there that I became keenly aware of the injustices and witnessed them first-hand, not only in school, but everywhere.

Photo of an employee as a child

Rosa when she was a 7-year-old second grade student.

Student: Then what happened?

Rosa: When I was in the sixth grade, I was told I had to go to another school with new classmates. Before then, all of my classmates looked like me and I wasn’t allowed to go to school with kids that were white. This new law was called Integration.

Student: How was the new school?

Rosa: While all my teachers were inspiring. I remember this one great teacher in particular, Mr. Shuller, who from day one made me feel that he truly wanted us there. Mr. Shuller was delightful, helped enrich my life, and showed me many opportunities for learning. He was a great storyteller and his desire was for us to have independence of thought.

Student: Who did you admire from the Civil Rights Movement?

Rosa: Martin Luther King Jr. America is a better country because he lived. He wanted equality for all races and Dr. King was brave because ultimately he knew that he was putting his life at risk for mankind.

Student: Who helped you the most while growing up?

Rosa: My Mama, who I will always love. She was full of faith. Despite her many struggles, unkind treatment  and difficulties she encountered, remarkably, I don’t recall if she ever said an unkind word about white people in my presence. I thank God for giving me such an amazing mother.

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