Tiffany Packer believes she is failing if what she says in the classroom doesn’t come to life for her students. A history professor at Florida A&M University, Packer wants to see her students engaged.
“I am a believer in not just teaching the material but being able to have students to connect because if students can’t connect to it, then often times they don’t care about it.” Packer said.
Packer was the driving force behind Tuesday’s event, a panel discussions and exhibit titled “New Age Lynching: Police Brutality and Its Effects On Communities of Color.”
The event started with a spoken word named “Liberation” by Eric Holmes. “I can’t help but feel like I’m witnessing the genocide,” Holmes said. “I can’t breathe.”
The panelists included Darius Parker, Jakaila Scaife and three professors from the university: Darius Young, Kwasi Densu and Packer, as they discussed the effects of police brutality on the black community.
Packer wanted to bring this seminar to campus to give faculty, staff and students an opportunity to start a dialogue and become more proactive when it comes to issues involving police brutality.
The panelists gave the audience an opportunity to ask questions and then played a video created by Packer’s students. The video featured scenes from various news clips of stories like the killings of Tamir Rice and Antwon Rose.
After the video the audience at Perry-Paige Auditorium was invited to make their way to the Black Archives to view an exhibit made by students from the African-American history to the 20th century class that Packer teaches.
When entering the room viewers were met with many handmade posters and signs for several victims of police brutality/racial injustice over the years.
These projects took some time to create and students put effort into creating a visual for individuals to come and experience.
Jessica Bronson, a senior Interdisciplinary studies major, created an intricate piece informing viewers on the story of Aiyana Jones. Jones was shot and killed in her home in Detroit in May 2010 by a SWAT team.
“I was so filled with emotion from this story of this little girl that got killed,” Bronson said. “I wanted to do my project on something I would feel.”
Bronson’s piece featured photos of the young girl and even a projector set up playing rapper J. Cole’s music video :Crooked Smile,” featuring TLC. The video pays homage to the young girl.