Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cold Case Squad looks into civil rights era murders

Students in Mr. Randy Turner's guided study class have been combining work on non-ficiton reading with exploring the mysteries of the recent past.

The group, informally known as the Cold Case Squad, has been researching the history of the American civil rights movement, including numerous murders that took place during that era, and have been attempting to contact some of those who were involved in history.

Among others, the eighth graders have written to Myrlie Evers, widow of murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Ruby Bridges, Julian Bond, Simeon Wright, the cousin of murder victim Emmett Till, and Bobby DeLaughter, the prosecutor who brought Medgar Evers' killer to justice. Though the guided study wraps up Thursday, these students will continue their work in Mr. Turner's communication arts classes during the third quarter during the annual Civil Rights project.

This is not the first time East Middle School students have contacted people involved in the civil rights movement, Mr. Turner said. "Last year, three of our students were able to get interviews. Taryn Parker and Adison Wright interviewed Rita Schwerner, the widow of a murdered civil rights worker, and Celeste Graves interviewed a member of the Little Rock Nine.

(Photo: Members of the Cold Case Squad shown are, from left: Alexis Gifford, Tess Harmon, Makaila Curnette, Nathan Howerton, Isaiah Whitehead, Roni Herron, and Valerie Royer. Now shown- Evan Blue, Julia Ayala, Melissa Lopez, Savanah Fields)

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