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Film shows students reality of civil rights movement

Despite reading about the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others in their textbooks, many Olympic High School students were awestruck by the visual reality of the cause as they watched the movie "A Time for Justice" by Charles Guggenheim Wednesday morning.

OHS Assistant Principal Roxanne Thayer brought the video, which shows pictures of blacks and other civil rights workers being beaten by police and others and features first-hand narrations from those who participated in the movement, to give students an added perspective on the movement ahead of Monday's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.

"I've probably seen this 100 times and each time it makes me cry," Thayer told students at the end of the presentation.

It is important for students to see that it wasn't just blacks, but people of many colors and ethnicities who fought for civil rights and endured beatings, death threats and other harsh treatment, she said.

For many students it was the first time they had seen the reality of the violence that surrounded the civil rights movement and the fight for equality for all, Thayer said.

OHS sophomore Jordan Ferraro said the film was something he and his fellow students needed to see, because of how the subject is covered in textbooks.

"It's peaches and cream," Ferraro said of the way the subject is handled in the textbooks.

Fellow sophomore Adrianne Marvin agreed the film showed the civil rights movement in a far more real way than it is portrayed in textbooks.

"It's important for high school students to see how it really was," Marvin said, adding that the race issue isn't one that's discussed much locally, but it still exists.

OHS senior Raylin Williams said he appreciated the way the film portrayed the reality of the civil rights movement, but added that it needs to be taught more than just at the high school level.

"Elementary schools should be teaching about this and as they (students) get older they should be given more facts about it," Williams said.

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