‘The story that we all share’

City College series celebrates Black History Month

 

In celebration of Black History Month, City College’s Inter-Club Council and the Umoja club presented “The Story That We All Share: Black History Month” in the cafeteria on Feb. 27 to 29.

The three-day-event featured a panel of speakers and organizations discussing the past and present social, economic and educational challenges of African-Americans.

Many cited the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education which overturned state-sponsored segregation. This ruling paved the way for integration and he civil rights movement.

Speakers included political activists, educators and participants from the 1960’s civil rights movement, who in their speeches often cited the teachings of political leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

Albie Abdullah, who served as Malcom X’s bodyguard during the civil rights movement, gave a riveting speech about topics that ranged from the origins of hip-hop to his experiences travelling with prominent  activists.

The second day of the event featured the first half of the film “Black Power Mixtape,” a Swedish documentary set in the United States around the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The portion shown showcased organizations such as the Black Panthers and many of their prominent members such as Bobby Seale and Alice Cooper.

Roberta Alexander, English teacher at City and former Black Panther, spoke about her time with the group and elaborated on their activities.
She asserted that it was important for this generation to get involved as well and provided suggestions on how to do so.

“If we can get the momentum to get this kind of conversation going, constantly, that’s a start,” said Alexander. “Beyond that we have to hit the streets. We need to get all the people who are eligible to be naturalized citizens, to be naturalized citizens … who are eligible to vote, to vote.”

Brenda Leverette, an administrative technician who attended the event, asserted that though society has made great improvements to combat racial injustice but more needs to be done.

“We are still judged by the color of our skin and not our abilities,” said Leverette. “The whip has been put down but there is still economical bondage.”

Chancellor Constance Carroll and City College President Terrence Burgess were also in attendance, and commended City’s students for their participation.

“There are many other things you could be doing with your lives, but you’ve chosen to come to City College,” said Carroll. “You’ve decided that you are not going to be slaves, economically or any other way. Its wonderful to see you here. If Frederick Douglass could see you here, he’d  probably cry.”

Douglass was an abolitionist leader and author in the 19th Century.

Connect with the Umoja club at www.facebook.com/pages/City-College-Umoja-Club/296125400443036.