Notable men and women of the civil rights movement will share their stories and experiences through a project using the powers of social networking, giving participants an opportunity to hear firsthand accounts from those who made a difference during the famous era in American history.

“The Civil Rights Meets Facebook” project will launch on Feb. 1 and will include remembrances from more than 40 civil rights workers and volunteers.

“Facebook is so integrated into our lives,” Tara J. Young, creator of the project told the AFRO in a recent interview. “I’m hoping to spark not only a conversation about history, but also a conversation about what we can do to make our communities better. These civil rights heroes were foot soldiers and without their leadership, the dream wouldn’t have been able to turn into a reality.”

Young, who is also the creator of the advocacy organizing site hiphopadvocate.org, explained that she created the Facebook project so she could expose the leaders’ efforts on a common platform to a wide range of people.

“My friends and I go to different Black history , but there are a lot of people that don’t,” she said. “I thought…maybe after being involved in this conversation through Facebook, will then go out and take the time to listen to some of these heroes that I’m spotlighting on this project.”

On the day of the launch, a selected civil rights leader will be assigned to discuss a particular event or experience on the project’s Facebook page. Afterward, participants can log on to the site and join the conversation with the civil rights leaders by clicking the “like” key.

A bevy of civil rights workers and volunteers are set to participate in the project including the revered Freedom Riders, representatives from the NAACP and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Committee.

“We have a good selection of people that have really different experiences where people can see the Civil Rights Movement in such an interesting way,” Young said.

Recognizing that there is a substantial gap between the Civil Rights generation and younger age groups, Young hopes the forum will engage candid conversation between the groups, and empower future generations to do more.

“Many of us are really excelling and I think that we have to make it our responsibility to know where we came from,” she said. “We’ve come a long way but there is so much more that needs to be done.”

To join the conversation, visit: Civil Rights Heroes, Workers and Volunteers on Facebook.

Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor