The 29th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Convocation held in the Gaither gymnasium at 11: 15 a.m., gathered students, teachers and alumni together in celebration of the legendary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Throughout convocation students listened to David Jackson, the keynote speaker and full professor of History, deliver an inspiring and impact speech that touched on the state of the black community and the knowledge of black history.
“Today our black people need to know where we have come from. We need to know and act upon our knowledge like Martin Luther King did,” Jackson said.
In discussing the state of blacks, Jackson insisted that black people have to change and know that they can’t be like others.
“Blacks have to learn that they can not do what white people do,” Jackson said.
Jackson added that, “when blacks realize that we have to be our own people than a change can began.”
In reference to change, Jackson encouraged students to write down a list in which he says is the start of change.
“Knowing who you are is first. Knowing if you are, who you really say you are, is second and knowing who you ought to be is the third step for change,” Jackson said.
While delivering a mix of historical authors and statistics that displayed the difference between white America and black America, Jackson stressed the need for black history and black support.
“How can you cry for others and not have tears for yourself,” Jackson said.
In making reference to the injustices in America from the war in Iraq to increases in college tuition, Jackson stressed the need for blacks to move.
Jackson added that people should “never forget how being poor in this country can cost you your life,” and that knowing the truth will set you free.
After closing remarks by Jackson, Interim President, Castell Bryant presented a special award to Dr. Rebecca Walker Steele a successful choral music director and former president of the Florida State Music Association of Higher Education.
While many students supported this year’s convocation, SGA vice President, Phillip Agnew insisted that more student involvement would have pleased him.
” I think we should continue to get more student involvement because many students saw today as a break from school and that’s not good,” Agnew said.
Monique Gillum, a sophomore political science student thought that convocation was awesome but agreed with Agnew in that the lack of students was hard to grasp.
“I wish more students were here to see what was going on. I felt something today that was special and I know others did to,” Gillium said.
Christina Hordge can be contacted at ChristinaHordge@yahoo.com