Two Black professors, Linda J.M. Holloway and her colleague, April T. Berry, have come together to build a curriculum guide, The Riverboat Curriculum Study Guide, around the Montgomery Riverfront Brawl.

According to Essence, Holloway, who’s a professor at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, and Berry, who’s an adjunct professor at the University of South Alabama, said that they hope the guide provides a space for students, mental health professionals and others to have healthy, impactful and engaging conversations about the Aug. 5 incident.



After witnessing the incident, Holloway knew that, with fall semester classes starting soon, she’d need to find a way to facilitate conversations about what happened with her students. Berry had similar concerns. Overseeing clinical operations and services at Vets Recover, which provides support for veterans and the broader Mobile, Alabama, community, Berry thought that her clients may have strong reactions to what happened and would need tools to be able to process and express those feelings in therapy, Black News reported.

Berry wrote about the curriculum on LinkedIn, writing, “So glad to have been given the opportunity to develop a curriculum to create healthy discussions around such sensitive topics!”

The course’s study guide notes includes 50 questions, a conversation prompt and recommended readings by Black authors like bell hooks, Claude McKay and Trevor Noah, Essence reported. The class is flexible, empowering users to choose questions based on the context, such as whether they have an academic or mental health focus. It also prompts users to have bigger conversations and think critically about why events like these happen in the U.S.

Holloway and Berry both believe that if incidents like the Montgomery Brawl are not discussed in the right way, the U.S. will never grow as a country.

“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,” they told Black News. “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.”

In addition to her work in the classroom, Holloway’s a poet, story activist, and multi-award-winning children’s book author of five children’s books.

Berry is also the clinical director at Vets Recover, a nonprofit organization that addresses many issues veterans face following their service. The organization is also a certified community behavioral health clinic.