• Posted on: January 11, 2009

2009 Rainbow Push Jesse Jackson H.B.C.U. College Tour

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Charlotte Jones Essay

Hello I am Charlotte Jones and I am currently a junior at Saint Mary’s High in Berkeley. During my spring break I attended the Rainbow Push Jesse Jackson H.B.C.U. tour 2009 through the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC). I attended the tour with Jamal, Corey, and Morgan. Our tour began on April 4, 2009 and ended April 11, 2009 since we were coming from California we flew out on April 3, 2009 to the PUSH headquarters in Chicago Illinois. The first day we were in Chicago we were able to see President Obama’s house and we also went to an excellent soul food restaurant Dixie’s kitchen. While we were at dinner we met another young man from California named Emmitt, on the tour there only 5 of us from California. All of the other kids were from Chicago, even though we may not have been from the same place they took us in like we were. I met a lot of good friends and had a great time with a lot of laughs.

I was on tour A which went to Morgan State University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Bennett College, Winston-Salem, Savannah State University, Fort Valley State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. The colleges I enjoyed the most were Morgan State University, Bennett College, and Fort Valley University. But, my number one choice is Spelman. I was empowered when I saw all of the strong confident black women. I’m am positive that Spelman would be the best fit for me. I will be able to focus more since the majority of my class would be all female and I love the fact that the class sizes are small. With small class the teachers are able to give you more one on one attention which I believe I need. Also I was intrigued by the dance program and what it offers.

The thing about the tour I was most apprehensive about was the amount of time spent traveling on the bus. I was pleasantly surprised, the time went by fast while on the road because we always were playing games or watching movies. The second night on the bus we played a get to know you game and you were able to get up and go talk to people all around the bus. This was the event in which I met most of my friends on the tour. During the tour we also played karaoke and had talent shows. Every night we stayed at a different hotel. There four people to a room, in my room I was with two sisters from Chicago and Morgan we all became very could friends and still keep in touch. The last night the girls on my floor had a PJ party and we watch movies and joked around.

Colleges were not the only thing we saw during our tour. While in Washington DC we were given the opportunity to see the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Memorial. Also we went to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham Alabama. Sixteenth Street Baptist church is a historical landmark. This is the church where the 4 African American young ladies’ were killed in a bombing. The bomb was set by 3 white racist men. At the bottom of the church is a tiny museum filled with pictures and artifacts dealing with racism that happened in Alabama. The Civil Institute was very insightful. It had many stories of those who were put down because of there race and culture. I recommend that if possible everyone see the Institute, it made me proud to be black women and I have such a greater respect for my ancestors then I already did.

Coming back from tour I feel I have became more responsible and independent. I have a much greater appreciation for my mother and what she has given me. The tour was the first time I had really been away from home for that long of a time, and I realized that I can be my own women. I don’t need my mom to handle everything for, I learned how to speak up for myself and I came back at lot less shy. Going to the colleges, seeing kids like myself, I realize now that I can do it and I can become a successful person in the future.  This I had the choice to do the tour all over again I would it was one of the best time I have ever had.

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