Two Black Professors Create Curriculum Guide For The Montgomery Riverboat Brawl

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Nationwide — Dr. Linda J.M. Holloway, along with her colleague Dr. April T. Berry, wanted to be creative in allowing students and others to have a meaningful conversation around the incident that took place on the Montgomery Riverboat in Montgomery, Alabama on August 5, 2023. This was an event that sparked many reactions, emotions, thoughts, and reflections across social media and within our broader society.

Dr. Holloway is a Professor at Alabama State University located in Montgomery, Alabama. She knew with classes starting back within a few days of this event occurring, she needed to develop a way where students could be safe and brave in discussing this topic in her classes.

Additionally, Dr. Berry serves as the Clinical Director of Vets Recover, a non-profit organization in Mobile, Alabama, and an Adjunct Professor. By overseeing clinical operations and services offered to Veterans and the broader Mobile community, Dr. Berry knew that clients who may have had strong reactions and emotions to this event would need to feel safe in expressing them in therapy. Thus, she knew she needed to ensure clinicians and other mental health professionals were equipped to provide this safe space to clients should it be necessary.

Thus, they were inspired to create The Riverboat Curriculum Study Guide which contains a list of questions designed for professors, mental health professionals, and others to have healthy, meaningful, and engaging conversations about the Riverboat incident. It also allows individuals to understand the bigger picture and critically think about incidents such as these. When using this study guide, you can feel free to pick questions that may be appropriate for the setting in which you are (e.g., academia, mental health, etc.)

Drs. Holloway and Berry strongly believe that if situations such as these are not discussed appropriately, the U.S. will continue to move forward “sick.” They comment, “We will just continue to put bandages on gushing wounds our country experiences such as racism instead of truly tending to such wounds with the appropriate care. As a society, we must use our platforms to be a voice to those who may not speak up for themselves and continue to fight for racial and social justice.”

Indeed, this is exactly why Drs. Holloway and Berry wanted to do this by creating a study guide and starting the conversation to unpack such a critical topic.

Click the link below for The Montgomery Riverboat Curriculum Study Guide:

About the Professors

Dr. Linda J.M. Holloway is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education at Alabama State University. She is a poet, story activist, and multi-award-winning children’s book author who has published 5 children’s books thus far.