Some eighth graders had an opportunity for connecting with history through Skype when they spoke with a minister who survived a violent attack during the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s.
Students at Nock Middle School spoke with the Reverend Clark Olsen, a Unitarian Minister, who participated in the marches in Selma, Alabama. He was with his friend, James Reeb, another white minister. Reeb was beaten to death by members of the KKK as he, Olsen, and a third minister were returning from dinner to participate in more marches.
Olsen told the students that Reeb’s death was a tipping point in the civil rights struggle. President Lyndon Johnson B. Johnson sent roses to the Birmingham hospital as Teen lay in a coma, and mentioned his name at the signing of the 1964 voting rights act.
81 year old Olsen told his story to the students from his North Carolina home. The Skype internet video conferencing application was paid for by the Newburyport Education Foundation.
During the conference, Olsen responded to questions such as “Would you do it again, knowing what you know now?” He answered yes immediately.