Black & Blues

American South

Duration 8 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 12 - 18
Experience Music as a Lens for Exploring


Music as a lens for exploring Civil Rights history and social justice

American South II

This travel experience aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of the blues, civil rights, and social justice in the American South, through visits to historic sites and organizations that promote equity and inclusion. The program’s itinerary includes visits to cities that played significant roles in the civil rights movement and explores the intersections of music, history, and social justice.

“Hospitality of magnolia-lined streets meets the soulful melodies of blues and the rich tapestry of southern charm.“


“Cultural symphony of warmth and heritage.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Upon arrival in Memphis, we settle into our hotel and hold a program briefing. After a lunch of local delicacies, we visit the Stax Museum, which showcases the rich history of soul music. The day ends with a lively concert on Beale Street, where we immerse in the vibrant music scene of Memphis.

Day 2

We go to Mud Island River Park to deepen our understanding of the region's geography. Next, we visit Sun Studio, where we learn about the musicians and genres that emerged there in the 1950s. Later, we visit the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery, and have a reflective session at I AM A MAN Plaza.

Day 3

We visit Dr. Martin Luther Kings memorial and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. We enjoy BBQ sandwiches while debriefing as we travel to Jackson. Upon arrival, we go to the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, dedicated to preserving African American history and culture.

Day 4

We visit the Museum of Mississippi History, with an immersive introductory experience narrated by Morgan Freeman, and exhibits spanning 12,000 years of history. Next, we visit the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Before dinner, we stroll through the historic Farish District.

Day 5

We drive to the Mississippi River delta. En route to New Orleans, we pause at the Whitney Plantation. Students embark on a self-guided audio tour. Then, we continue our journey to New Orleans, where we enjoy the vibrant ambiance and live music of the French Quarter.

Day 6

We join a walking tour led by Denise Augustine, a 7th generation Creole storyteller who portrays the city's diverse cultural tapestry, blending African, Indigenous, French, and Spanish influences. Then, we visit the Jazz Museum. In the evening, students explore various neighborhoods of their choice.

Day 7

We visit a project of New Orleans Airlift, a collective that promotes creativity and collaboration as a way to unite communities for a more equitable future. Their Music Box Village is both an interactive art-site and a performance platform. We eat a festive final lunch together.

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Lenses of Inquiry


Jazz Music

Students delve into the significance of Blues and Jazz during the Civil Rights Movement, exploring historical context and themes. They uncover the socio-political landscape that shaped African American lives, revealing how music became a tool for resistance and a celebration of identity and culture.


Civil Rights

This experience provides a deeper understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. Students learn about the sacrifices made by activists and the challenges they faced. They witness the ongoing struggle for equality in these communities and reflect on how far we have come and how far we still have to go.



Students engage in critical reflection and primary source analysis to reconstruct history from the ground up. Emphasizing personal engagement, we approach topics like slavery and civil rights. Pre-departure online modules enable students to construct their own understanding of program themes.


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