Derrick Alridge has crisscrossed the South to interview teachers who participated in and taught during the civil rights movement.
This week, though, he invited three Charlottesville-area black educators who lived and worked through the civil rights era to discuss experiences with local teachers. While none considered themselves activists, the educators described their role in the decades surrounding the movement as “influencers” with enormous power to help children see each other as equals.
“These teachers taught through a time that experienced major upheaval,” said Alridge, a professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. “In many ways, what we’re experiencing today is similar to what the country was facing from the 1950s to 1980s.”