Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a part of an amazing yearlong community initiative, called the Freedom Now Project, to remember and preserve the history of activism in Houston. Our city has many important stories about civil rights organizing and change. This year WITS is one of several organizations dedicated to educating and inspiring students about the art and writing of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.
We hope you will set aside time tonight, Monday, May 16th, for the Houston PBS/Channel 8 premiere of FREEDOM RIDERS, a 2-hour documentary about the more than 400 black and white Americans who risked their lives to bring about change in the United States.
WITS students are being motivated in powerful ways by the stories and photographs of Freedom Riders, many of whom were young people. They are imagining what it may have been like to stand up and do the right thing at a crucial moment in U.S. history. Here is a poem written by Maya, a 4th grader, about the power of joining forces with others to bring about change.
I am marching down the street.
It’s night, and I am singing with
people all around me.
It’s cold, but I don’t notice
because I am trying to find my
way to freedom. I am letting
my soul take flight like a bird.
My arms are linked to the sky.
Voices ring in my ears as we
sing our way to heaven.
by Maya, age 10
On Thursday at 7 p.m. a group of WITS students will read their original stories and poems about the Civil Rights movement. This free event, The Watchful Eye, will be held at the Menil Collection, and the public is welcome to attend.