Florida’s 18th Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll reminded students that they have the potential to be successful leaders during Florida A&M’s Black History Month convocation Friday.
Students, faculty and staff gathered as Carroll told the audience that although she has made history, there is still more to come.
“I am the first African-American to win a state-wide seat in over 160 years in this state, but I’m not going to be the last,” Carroll said.
Carroll told students that there are no limitations on their success and that the resources available at FAMU will help them accomplish their goals.
“You will have the foundation necessary to be as successful as you want to be,” said Carroll. “You’re getting a world-class education.”
Jelani Marks, a third-year political science student from Decatur, Ga., said he hopes students can accept black history in its entirety and begin to understand what black history is.
“I just hope that people will, I guess, accept a broad understanding of black history and accept that black history goes beyond slavery and beyond the Civil Rights movement,” said Marks. “I’d like people to understand black history for what it is and not what America makes it out to be.”
Jada Dauphin, a first-year health care management student from Gainesville, Fla., said it is vital for African-Americans to know their past in order to progress.
“We need to do better as a people. We need to know about our past before we move on to the future,” said Dauphin.
Although Carroll’s speech was interrupted by protesters who disapproved of her being the keynote speaker because of her political views, others felt her mark in history deserved respect and recognition.
“I think that we have to respect who she is regardless of her opinions,” said Ebony Booker, a third-year public relations student from Dallas. “She’s done a lot for Florida and I think if we just keep that at the forefront, all the extra is not necessary.”