Eighth graders see one of last ‘Selma’ screenings

Published 10:29 pm Saturday, January 31, 2015

R.B. Hudson teacher Colin McConarty and his eighth grade history students saw “Selma” Saturday at the Walton Theater.

R.B. Hudson teacher Colin McConarty and his eighth grade history students saw “Selma” Saturday at the Walton Theater.

By Tyra Jackson

The Selma Times-Journal

Colin McConarty, an eight-grade world history teacher at R.B. Hudson Middle School, met his students Saturday on the steps of the Dallas County Courthouse so they could walk to the Walton Theater for one of the last screenings of “Selma.”

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A class project involving Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. influenced McConarty to bring his class to see the movie. The project required students to identify characteristics within King and find some of those same qualities within someone in their lives.

“They brought me to tears in class and brought every administrator to tears,” he said. “So many of them were just so open and emotional about it. They needed an awesome reward, and this opportunity for the movie came about.”

McConarty said the film was a great way for students to take on a different interpretation of history because many of them learn visually.

He also said it’s a break from students having to hear a lecture or read history from a book.

“I told them about it, and they were so excited about the film they really provided all the motivation. They got me up to see the movie with them on a Saturday morning,” he said.

Student Paige Pritchett said she hopes to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of King. As a part of her class project, she chose to focus on King’s determination.

“I think Dr. King was determined to seek freedom during the Civil Rights Movement,” she said. “If he wasn’t determined he wouldn’t achieve as much as he did.”

Christina Ridgeway, an eighth grade English teacher at R. B. Hudson, also joined McConarty and his class.

She said said traveled from Demopolis to support some of her students, and to demonstrate the importance of the film.

“Even though I teach a different subject, I’m still teaching life. For the students to be living in Selma, it is important for them to understand what has gone on here, and for them to put forth every effort to do the very best they can,” Ridgeway said.