Two African Americans are sharing their stories of struggle about civil rights in America to secondary school students throughout the country.

The duo is sharing their experiences of racism at school in the 1950s to educate rangatahi Māori on civil rights.

In 1957, Minnijean Brown Trickey was one of the nine students labelled as the 'Little Rock Nine' who had to be supported by heavily armed troops to go to their high school.

She says she’s hoping her story can help others.

“For me, it’s like having a discussion with young people because I have this story. Although it happened so long ago, some lessons for today and I realised that they think about things and have issues and I’m hoping when we do these discussions we see similarities.”

That is the exact reason she and Professor Clarence Lusane has organised a series of keynote presentations to secondary schools around the country, to discuss civil rights and discrimination in the hope our rangatahi.

Professor Lusane says the experience is universal and still relevant now.

“We’re travelling to share our experiences because we think those experiences are universal and what I’m talking about in particular being African American in the US and what that history is about as well as what we’re facing in contemporary society.”

Minnijean has one more thing to say.

“Non-violence is a way of life for courageous people so that’s my constant struggle to be non-violent, to show the power of non-violent and to sort of spread it around.”

The duo will be touring schools in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch and the series comes to an end on May 29.

LIKE