Mark Levy, a veteran of the US Civil Rights movement, visited Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form on 17 October 2018 to speak to A Level history students.
A former school teacher, Mark spoke of his roots in student political activism in college and how he had felt compelled not to be a bystander. In 1963, Mark attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, an event that has since become synonymous with the Civil Rights movement as it was where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech.
In 1964, Mark left his home in New York to take part in a campaign in Mississippi to help African Americans to register to vote and establish Freedom Schools. Mark spoke of the dangerous work in which three of his colleagues were killed by the Ku Klux Klan.
Mark was keen to emphasise that social change comes about more through the actions of people at grassroots level than through the work of prominent individuals. He also stressed that the issue of racial equality is still live in the USA, as the "Black Lives Matter" campaign shows.