Summit unifies leaders and students

The Student Government Association produced impressive numbers and solutions at the first State of the Black Student Summit on Tuesday in Lee Hall.

Among the outstanding numbers in student attendance the summit involved students in the highly anticipated panel discussion headlined with well renowned professionals in the black community.

Various panelists in appearance were Debra Austin, provost and vice president of academic affairs;A.J. Calloway, host of the popular acclaimed BET show 106 & Park; Tommy Dortch, president of the 100 Black Men of America; Julia Hare, motivational speaker; Shannone Holt, vocalist/songwriter; David Jackson, a full professor and Chair of the Department of History and African American Studies at FAMU; Cousin Jeff, the conscious cousin on BET’s Rap City; Dickie Robbins, a bishop of the Life in Christ Cathedral of Faith; Omar Tyree, the New York Times bestseller author; Arthur Wylie an entrepreneur of three distinguished companies and SGA President Ramon Alexander and Vice President Phillip Agnew.

As the evening moderators, Andre Collins, Deputy Chief of Staff and Monique Gullium, Sophomore Senator delivered the nights lists of panel topics, students prepared themselves for the most dynamic panel discussion to hit Florida A& M University.

Throughout the State of the Black Student Summit students listened to a variety of hot topics discussed beginning with the influence of hip hop to the culture of the black community.

” I think [hip hop] represents us and our community for the most part, however, it doesn’t represent us completely,” said A.J., former host of BET’s 106 & Park.

With the controversial topic rising as the night progressed the issue of hip hop switched gears when panelist began to debate on the issue of the use of the explicit language and content transcribed from hip hop.

“The image of the black woman has been under assault for years and to talk about the “n” or ” b” word in hip hop tells me that anything that is degrading to women should be degraded and not celebrated by the black community,” Jackson said.

However, Cousin Jeff emphasized the “bringing back of real hip hop” and offered his opinion to the influence of today’s hip hop as an inheritance by the young people. In response to leadership within the black community, Julia Hare, gave a critical and amusing depiction of the lack of leadership shown in the black community.

“We tend to contribute by collaborating in our own oppression when we let leading networks like NBC, or National Broadcasting Caucasians, or CBS, Caucasian Broadcast System and ABC, All Broadcasting Caucasian dictate to our children who our leaders are in the black community.

In response to the topic of Christianity vs. Sexuality, many panelists took a strong stance on the controversial issue.

“When people aren’t educated about sexuality, problems arise in outstanding numbers of teen pregnancy and other outcomes of sexual activity,” says Robbins.

In regards to homosexuality in the black community, Jackson made students aware of the lack of education revolved on the religion aspect of the banning of homosexuals in the church and black community.

“Many Christians are not educated about the history of Christianity because if they were, they would know that King James himself was a homosexual,” said Jackson.

While many panelists concluded that the issues targeting the black community were those produced by society, many students suggested solutions to the problems facing the black student.

“Overall I’m optimistic about the state of black students. I am certain that events like this one will encourage others to branch out to bring the awareness out to the community.” said Agnew.

Contact Christina Hordge at