Freedom Summer: Day 7

June 20, 2014
Charlottsville, VA and Home  
- African American Heritage Center
- Aunt Gracie's House
- Scott Family Church and Cemetary

- Mitchie's Tavern

FNN Tech Bureau: Today is Friday, June 20th, 2014 and this is our final day on this trip. We wake up in Charlottesville, Virginia and head to the Jefferson School and African American Heritage Center. This school was the first school for Blacks in Charlottesville. It was also attended by the family of our teacher, Mr. Howard Simms. We explore the school and the history, listening to stories and looking at pictures. We're also able to see an art exhibit and talk to the artist about his work. We leave Jefferson and head to Mr. Simm's aunt's house, Aunt Gracey. Her house is right next to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. She talks to us about her family's history and the history of the church that her family owns. We all head to the church, which was burned down several times, and we explore it. Once we finished viewing the church and cemetery, we head to a colonial restaurant, Mitchie’s Tavern. We eat and head back home, Washington, DC. It takes about 3 hours to get back home, but once we arrive I become sad. I'm going to miss everyone over the summer. I'm going to miss everyone from school and our wonderful bus driver, Mr. Joe. As I go to enter the car that came to pick me up, a single tear falls down my cheek. This trip was a life changing experience and I'll always remember it. 
- Trayona Lawrence

Day 7.  Today we first went to the African American Cultural Center in Charlottsville, VA and we saw lots of art. I really enjoyed it—me being an artist. The artist we met had lots of symbolism in his art, solely based on the time of segregation. I personally do not like collage art, because to me it’s mostly just colors and stencils like the pictures we saw  and it causes you to use your own perspective which may not be what the artist intended. However, when he explained it, you sort of got an idea of what he felt when he was doing each piece. Our next stop was Mr. Simms family home where we would all interview his aunt. She was really nice and gave us some great information and perspective. She was so wise and it was a great way to end our trip. What was so cool was that she had this baby doll that she adopted as her daughter and it was so realistic. Our last stop was to Mitchie’s Tavern, a cool old fashioned buffet.  We took our last pictures and then got back on the road to go home never to forget our experiences. 
- Aaron Grice

Today is Friday, June 20, 2014. Today we are in Virginia. Today we are visiting the home town of one of our chaperones, Mr. Simms. His family is very well known in Charlottesville. Their ancestors were once slaves of Thomas Jefferson.

We visited the house of Mr. Simms great aunt. She was very nice and allowed us to sit down and ask questions. She had more information about her ancestors than I've ever heard. After our visit with her, we went to visit a local church. I was not able to get all the information given there because I began to cry when we entered the cemetery. Finally we went to lunch a Mitchies Tavern.    
 - Briana Thomas

Day 7. Today is our last day of the Freedom Ride recreation. Our second to last stop is in Charlottesville, Virginia. Here we went to the Jefferson School which was at first all black. It was the first school in that area to get integrated. The principal who was originally there was Black and when the school was integrated they thought he wasn’t fit to teach white students. When I hear stuff like that it makes me cringe because it makes you think that a black principal can principal the kids just as good as a white principal. We also got to see an art exhibit by Earl Gordon. A lot of his pieces were about Josephine Baker and about the olden times. His work was pretty cool, he explained a little bit about his work while he was there with us. After that we got to see Mr. Simms’s family and the street named after them (Scott Hill). They was telling us about segregation back then and when schools got integrated. Then we went to the Black church that was around there and the family cemetery. After that we went to Michie’s Tavern. The only thing that I liked was the fried chicken. It tasted like my grandma cooked it. That’s how I knew we were close to home. After lunch we headed HOME. FINALLY! I missed my family so much but there was still a three and ½ hour drive ahead of us. But we made it. Before we got back we realized that school was out and the the 11th graders are now seniors and sophomores are now juniors! Overall the trip was fun and it was an amazing experience. I’m glad I got to go.
- Rhonea Long

Day 7:  Today we went to meet Mr.Simms’s cousin and learn the history of their family. It was interesting  because they were born around the same time as segregation and told us a lot. Now as we are on our way home I reflect on the trip and how much I learned. 
- Katrina Smith

06/20/2014: Today we went to this school named Jefferson. At the school we met an artist named Earl Gordon. Mr. Gordon talked to us about some of his paintings and what inspired him to create them. It was interesting to hear how pieces of his art work came to be.
- Jasmine Kibler