Life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated by Northeastern University’s School of Law in a lecture titled ‘Voices from the Black Migration’. The lecture was delivered by Pulitzer Prize- Winning author Isabel Wilkerson, who spoke about the African-American experience. A law professor, Margaret Burnham, founder of the ‘Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project’ was interviewed and asked about the significance and participation of students in the project.
When asked about the significance, she said how the book justifies and explains the experiences of the Africans who struggled to escape the Southern retaliation. The broader African-American migration and how it reshaped the country were topics taken as a part of the discussion. There were instances when the violence not only affected the ones who were taken away, but also the families who were left behind. Many escaped and fled across places in order to save their lives or rid themselves of slavery. According to Burnham, the lesser- known narratives of people who survived and endured the atrocities are included and described in the works of Wilkerson.
Burnham said that the students too, benefit from these programs as they work on finding legal solutions for the harm caused in the past. They ensure that these stories become an essential part of the African-American history. The knowledge they receive is through the interviews with experts, historians, and community members who share stories that otherwise the four walls of a classroom cannot provide.
From a law perspective, Burnham thinks that the condition of the African-American scenario must be understood by the society. She says that there are families that were thrown away and were never able to return to their own landings and homelands. And still, there is no systematic effort taken to recognise and redress these cases which is an absolute injustice to their community.