Conversation, Relaxing, and Food

We had ourselves quite the adventure in Jackson on Thursday. From attending the conference in the morning to relaxing with hard earned downtime in the afternoon, and finding the most expensive restaurant in Jackson, we were pretty wiped out by the end of the day.

The morning plenary discussed the historic importance of the Civil Rights Movement and included panelists David Dennis, Marian Wright Edelman, Bob Moses, and Taylor Branch.

“We need to reclaim the heart and promise of this movement,” Branch said. The other panelists and audience agreed.

“Slavery can’t be re-instituted through incarceration,” Edelman said, talking about the criminal justice system.

The other part of the morning session consisted of calling up all the veterans and workers who participated in the Civil Rights Movement. Our own Joe Morse stood in line for a good 20 minutes, waiting to say where he was from, where he lived and worked during that time, and what he is currently doing for civil rights.

After the morning session and lunch, we went back to the hotel and either worked on the third round of our presentations or slept. Those who are taking two classes for this travel study have to make five presentations and those who are only taking one class have to make three presentations.

For the presentations, we answer a question based on the area we are in. Thursday’s presentation focused on Selma, Montgomery and Lowndes County, Ala. (this presentation was pushed back from the original date when we were in Alabama).

Evening plans were to go to a COFO/Lynch Street Takeover at Jackson State University. Lynch Street is named for Mississippi’s first black congressman, Hiram Rhodes Revels who was elected in 1870.

We were ravenous with hunger when we got to the event but after looking at the menu, we didn’t think that the small meals would fill us up. Plan B was to go to a restaurant off campus and then come back to the event. We were on the bus, but then a few local Jackson state students told us about a restaurant called “The Penguin” that was just a few blocks down from the COFO event.

When we saw “The Penguin,” our mouths dropped to the ground. It was a very fancy restaurant and we were just a bit underdressed. Luckily, they seated us and gave us the menus. Once again, our mouths were on the floor as we scanned over the food and the prices. Professor Campbell said we each had a limit of $30 to spend on food, including dessert and excluding paying for our own drinks.

The popular food choice among our group was the seafood quesadillas, which was crab, crawfish, and shrimp in a tomato torilla over Mexican rice. Tyler and Trisha decided to order the $28 steak and had a contest to see who would eat most of it, of which Tyler won. The turtle cheesecake was also the popular dessert choice for $7.

The restaurant also had live jazz music and the band was very good. The weather looked very threatening with a dark blue nearly black sky. We thought we might see a tornado but it just poured down rain and got very windy.

Check out the photos here!