In today’s edition of “Amazing Kids in Acadiana,” a group of teens is heading to Selma, Alabama to honor the men and women who fought for civil rights, rights that many take for granted today.
Their hope for the trip is to educate other teens on the importance of history and not letting that history repeat itself.
Dianne Borel, VP of the MLK Association, says the trip is a way to mind the generational gap.
“They get a glimpse of what we take for granted. A lot of time if we don’t think it’s a big election we don’t go out and vote. All of these people died and fought for us to just have the right to vote and when our young people finally see that, it hits home.”
Borel has been taking the 426-mile journey to Selma, Alabama since 1996. The experience, she says, is an eye-opener. It’s a trip that she felt others should experience first-hand.
“It’s great for the heritage and history,” says Borel. “Going to Selma, you get to sit and talk to the people who were in the struggle and on the bridge for Bloody Sunday.”
A lot of the history of what happened there, according to Borel, has been lost on young people who have not learned about the event in-depth while in school. She says that’s why the trip, even today, is so important for those who did not experience it.
And now, in 2019, a group of teens with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association in Lafayette is planning their own trip to Selma.
It’s a place they’ve never been and have only read about, but a place that holds a lot of meaning for each of them.
“It’s heartbreaking,” says Kailon Babineaux who reigned as Miss Selma Jubilee Queen in 2018. “Every opportunity is something we can learn from.”
And for these kids, it’s about not letting history repeat itself, even if it feels like some days that’s happening.
Eugenia Williams, who will be going to Selma for the first time, says that she feels it’s her generations’ duty to step up and take responsibility as the next presidents, governors, and congressmen.
“We are the future. We’re the ones that are going to talk about what’s going on,” says Zakarriya Collins. “We’re going to show our ancestors that they didn’t die for nothing. They died for us to do more with our lives.”
As these future leaders embark on their journey to Selma, they’re not taking for granted the opportunities they’ve been given because of others who fought the fight to get them where they are today.
The group has a GoFundMe set up to help them make the trip to Selma. To help with donations for the trip, click here.