Human Rights in the 20th Century


Contemplate Challenge Appreciate

Last night we had a great discussion about Human Rights in the 1900s, leading to a beautiful conversation about our personal background with the current Civil Rights experience, especially concerning Black Lives Matter. Our host presented his views on the last 50 years and brought the question to our generation. The students listened with candor and reflection, respectfully challenged views, examined the opposing perspectives, and students came to each other's aid. The differences between the Dr. MLK Jr movement and the statement made by Kaepernick were discussed with openness and frankness. Humanities are all about observing, appreciating, and understanding how we are experiencing the world around us. I believe the students earnestly were looking for a solution and a way forward. I could not be more proud of my students!


Our host, Rayvan Davis Sr., recounts Civil Rights events as he experienced them growing up. 

  • > to 1960s: Highest number of lynchings toward Black Americans in the US recorded. 
  • 1962: Dr. MLK Jr inspires his fellow Americans to support him in his vision for a land free and equal for all people. 
  • The 1970s- 1980: Jim Crows laws continue in housing, education, medical restrictions. 
  • The 2010s: Colin Kaepernick makes a polarizing statement against police brutalityPresently: the Black Lives Matter movement carries up the torch.
At this point in the evening, the floor opened for discussion. One student questioned the vision and impact of the BLM, suggesting that the BLM movement lacks a face to lead the march and fails to offer a recognizable platform seen during the 1964 movement and chooses to select when to fight the cause. Further stating the BLM seems chaotic and needs direction. In response, another speaker suggested that the lack of 'face' was initially meant to remove the danger, as seen with MLK, Malcolm X, and Kaepernick. Indicating the movement selected a masked panel of people to drive the action forward or their protection. However, the idea of obscuring the board gave students cause for concern because we could not see who pulled the strings, which led some to doubt the movement's sincerity. For the rest of the evening, they discussed if the new generation would write their members of Congress for change, attend rallies, and institute direction for the movement. The students and speakers debated the pitfalls and the successes of the BLM movement. The evening concluded with a plea for change on a micro-level and helping those around us in need. Ending, if our government cannot help us, we must help each other and stand together; even if we differ on the means, we can all agree on the end - equality, equity, and community.
Kelly Perez, Adjunct Professor