As the election approaches, young, black voters are constantly reminded of the importance of voting. People that haven’t forgotten about the black community this election season are the members of the Beta Alpha chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
The Deltas hosted a panel discussion titled “Say It Loud: Black Knowledge Beyond February.”
The event, which was held Thursday at 8 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium, was aimed at actively discussing the topic of Willie Lynch, a plantation owner. Lynch came to the Americas to teach other plantation owners the doctrine of oppressing blacks during slavery times through a divide and conquer philosophy. His infamous speech is known as “The Willie Lynch Papers.”
The panelists included Florida A&M University professors Dana Dennard, Willie Butler, David Jackson, Maria Mallory White, and Bruce Stroubel, a FAMU student.
Kimberly Brown, a member of the Beta Alpha chapter, was the chairwoman for the event.
“The purpose of this event is to encourage all students to become as knowledgeable as possible about black history,” said Brown, 20, a junior public relations student from Montgomery, Ala.
“I am very passionate about black history,” Brown said.
“In order to put this event on, I had to have the financial backing of my organization.”
Brown, the moderator for the discussion, asked the panel a series of questions, in which each panelist had seven minutes to respond.
Questions, which ranged from the dependence that blacks have on the proverbial “white man” to feminism and the role of the woman in the black community, were asked of the panel during the forum.
“We as African-American people have denied our humanness, and we have allowed the other man to tell us where we are going to go,” said Butler, a history and political science professor.
“If you allow them to legislate your rights, then they will take away your rights.”
Another topic discussed during the panel discussion was the issue of FAMU requiring students to only take one African-American history course throughout their matriculation at a historically black university.
“It shouldn’t be required for students to take African-American history their freshman year,” said Stroubel, who is majoring in African-American studies. “It is important for us to know our history and be proud of it,” said the 21-year-old senior from Pasadena, Calif. “This type of forum is what black universities were created for. If we don’t do these types of things, we are failing our mission as an HBCU,” he said.
Other students in attendance said the seminar was full of useful information and was enlightening.
“I learned a lot from this seminar,” said Donald Johnson, a senior business administration student. “It has sparked a newfound interest in myself to conduct more research to find out more about who we are,” said the 21-year-old student from Atlanta.
Aside from the discussion, the event included a ’70s inspired scene from Faces Modeling Troupe and an interpretative dance from members of Essence Dance Theater.
Brown said the event is scheduled to occur each semester if she continues to receive the support of the Deltas and other people who made this event a success.
“I think that this event is very influential and it helps us as African-American students, and more importantly as African-American people, to realize who we are and where we have come from.” Johnson said.
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