A look at current, past student activism

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Students from across the country are demanding stricter gun laws following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. University of Texas at San Antonio associate professor of history Gregg Michel said those students have already brought change.

"When students have active shooter drills, lockdown drills, that brings it home," Michel said.

Michel said that, while students in the 1960s protested about different issues, their convictions were the same as those of the students today. 

"Some were protesting in favor of integrating their colleges, in favor of civil rights in their communities in which they lived," Michel said.

Michel said the Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-in changed American history.

"The very first sit-in was four African-Americans in a Woolworth Store seeking to be served at a lunch counter in 1960. It brought the entire south to reckon with this issues," Michel said.

Around the same time, the Chicano movement was in full force.

Amy Rushing heads the special collections at UTSA and talked about the school's Chicano items. Rushing and her team are devoted to preserving history. They have begun collecting posters from recent marches.

"Those posters are firsthand evidence how they feel, what their issues are, what they are trying to say to the public and officials in charge," Rushing said.

As today's students find a place in history, Michel said, there will be obstacles.

"They are going to hit dead-ends. There are going to be issues where they lose, which the outcome is not what they want, but the key is to stay motivated and engaged," Michel said.

To learn more about UTSA’s special collections, click here.

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