Rowe inspiring the future of Black rights activists

Former civil rights lawyer lectures African-American studies class


Kayla Nguyễn

On Wednesday, Civil Rights activist Jasper Rowe spoke to the African-American studies class in the Coppell High School Lecture Hall for Black History Month. Rowe is a lawyer from the Civil Rights era who played an important part in the desegregation of schools.

Maya Palavali, Staff Cartoonist

The large room was silent except for the deep echoing voice. A man clad with a bright orange tie captivated the room as students held on to each and every word he said.

On Wednesday, former civil rights lawyer Jasper Rowe answered students’ questions about his history in the Coppell High School Lecture Hall.

The African-American studies class invited Rowe, Coppell senior Morgan Hurst’s grandfather, to speak in honor of Black History Month.

A QR code linking to a questionnaire was projected onto the screen above Rowe as he spoke. As more questions were submitted, two students sat at the front of the hall to ask and mediate the conversation. Coppell senior Eris Nelson and Hurst served as moderators for the session.

Rowe mainly spoke about his role as a civil rights lawyer in the desegregation movement and his viewpoint on how equality is developing.

“I was certain I was making a difference, but how long it would persist still remains to be seen,” said Rowe in response to a question asking if Rowe thinks he made a change.

Rowe contributed to another part of the Black empowerment movement that is usually overlooked.

“I consider myself as a part of the unknown Black history,” said Rowe when asked if he felt he was part of the Civil Rights Movement. “Everyone saw [Martin Luther King Jr.], but there were other people like me behind the scenes.”

Rowe was invited by African-American studies student Hurst to inspire the class to maintain the urgency of fighting for civil rights.

“I paid the price and I hope that the sacrifices will bear fruit in the future,” Rowe said in response to whether he thinks his work will continue to leave an impact. “That the next generation will come forward to preserve their rights.”

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