“I think as a country, we still don’t admit that racism is one of our biggest problems.” Donard Collins, BVM
As they reflect during Black History Month, BVM Sisters who taught in the segregated South say those missions changed their lives.
They went to teach, and they did. But they also learned about their country and themselves. They witnessed poverty, discrimination, prejudice, and racism. They were there for the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement and saw that integration would be a struggle. Their experiences profoundly influenced their views on justice, solidified their belief in equality, and deepened their spirituality. See their videotaped reflections here:
Kathryn Lawlor, BVM
Kathryn Lawlor, BVM taught at St. Augustine in Memphis, Tenn., from 1954-59.
“We were the only white teachers in that entire Memphis school system teaching black students, so we were not looked upon very highly. Once you start teaching, the color of the student quickly fades, because all students are the same,” Kathryn says.