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Civils Rights

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Civils Rights

The humanities course here at Roanoke College have provided me with an in depth look at the evolution of humans, more specifically humanism. The evolution I am talking about is not how we have evolved physically or in the Darwin type sense. What I am talking about is how we have evolved as a race of people. We need to survive and as we learn we use that knowledge to make life easier and survival possible. We not only create ways to entertain and pleasure ourselves but we protect ourselves. In the second half of this humanities course I have learned that surviving isn’t everything, that making things better and right can be just as important. It might be bold of me to say that surviving is easy, but I have faith that I can say challenging the known ways of survival isn’t.

This course begins with Martin Luther, a man who challenged the church, who proposed that what they were doing was wrong and that he intended to change it. This I’m sure was not a very easy thing for him to do. In fact it is known that others before him had spoken out against the church but with no or modest success. He was able to capitalize on one thing however, the printing press. This newly developed device had enabled him to do what others could not. He used new technology to fight the norm. He wasn’t simply going to let someone tell him, how or when to worship. This could have easily led

to his death, but others agreed. Martin Luther wasn’t just another guy looking to get rich, he was looking out for the good of humanity. That’s something that I have seen flow through both courses. It takes a strong person to stand up and challenge the established, but we can see throughout time that we have progressed as humans and in society by fighting against what is wrong.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to not pay attention in class, or that what we are learning would have a little effect on myself. I never expected to be so moved in this class. We read countless literature about people sticking their neck out to say what they felt was right and to protect the rights of others. But I was most affected in this course when we got to the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing man, with a dream that unfortunately ultimately lead to his death. He is the uptime of a man who accepts a challenge and even welcomes it when he knows defeating it will help the greater good. His fight for equal rights in this country is a model for looking after one another.

When I think of how this course “flows” I almost have to think of an evolutionary chain. What we learn from history can be very important and can most often help us in the future. We learn things from one generation to the next, both good and bad, but this enables us to expect things and know how to react. Martin Luther King Jr. followed in the footsteps of Gandhi. Gandhi not only sought freedom for India, but also looked to make a home for both Muslims and Hindu’s. Gandhi preached that change could be made through non-violence. Martin Luther King Jr. followed in his footsteps achieving what at the time was considered unthinkable.

It’s no lie that racism was a large part of the southern lifestyle; Dr. Partin has admitted on many occasions that he was raised by parents who were racist and that were just how it went. This in itself is another example of humanism evolution. His parents might have been incredibly racist, but he is not. I was so moved when he told us a story about a parade that he was attending, and it was the first time that blacks had been allowed to participate. When the black children’s band came marching through everyone in the town turned their

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