Headline - "UA students play crucial roles in raising awareness of – and rectifying – an 80-year-old case of injustice"
Byline - Through the Scottsboro Boys Museum University-Community Partnership and service-learning courses, students contribute to the museum and history in numerous ways.
Students at U of A have contributed much and are recognized, but until there is an effort to place forward educational programs in our public school system the sickness of racism will not be resolved in our nation, state or locally.
Is the mission of the foundation, museum and the University of Alabama's New School recognition and glory; or serve and assist as an educational facility to participate in resolving the age old sickness of racism? Maybe the current goal is to build educational resources for the needed mission, if that is the current goal it is not stated as such and should be stated publically. That is not saying recognition is not important, it is, particularly when there is a need for financial backing for programs.
Scottsboro Boys Museum Mission Statement from their web-site: "The Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center commemorates the lives and legacy of nine young African Americans who, in the 1930s, became international symbols of race-based injustice in the American South, and celebrates the positive actions of those of all colors, creeds and origins who have taken a stand against the tyranny of racial oppression. We are committed to advancing reconciliation and healing, and promoting civil rights and an appreciation of cultural diversity worldwide." http://www.scottsboro-boys.org/aboutus.html The last sentence is important as this is where education enters into the museum's mission.
Thus far, it seems recognition and glory have been the primary focus, when will the focus change to addressing personal and institutional racism in our local, state and national culture? If the goal of the University of Alabama's participation in the museum is to build it into an educational facility to assist in overcoming years of racism and Jim Crow Practice it should be stated directly and publically.
Personally, I think the underlying sickness of the disease prevents meaningful change. An opportunity was missed in the pardon act process to fund race relations education in Alabama or to increase indigent legal defense funding. The Republican administration was "drooling all over themselves" to prove they are not bigots with the pardon, this was a missed opportunity to facilitate change instead of supporting political glory seeking. Missed opportunities should be a lesson learned, but is that the case?
Adequate legal defense of the poor in our courts has never been an expressed goal of our Alabama Justice System. Prison slavery is needed to continue the prison industry. The majority of prisoners in Alabama's correctional facilities are black. It is evident racial discrimination is practiced in our communities and justice system in Alabama. The problem with Alabama Corrections: http://www.vice.com/read/the-horrific-state-of-alabamas-prisons Alabama prison slavery is a problem for another day. Ending racial/sexual discrimination via education is a problem with solutions for the here and now.
Will the University of Alabama New School learn THEIR lessons of history?