The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Black Symposium tackles activism

By David Butler/reporter

Have you been infected? Symptoms are idleness, fear, lack of concern and involvement in community.

In Black Symposium: Plight of the Black Man Feb. 11 on South Campus, panel members discussed the cure for these symptoms and ways black males can stop being infected and be effective for their community.

“I was riding the bus, and the next thing I realize is that an older man started smoking some weed and then passed it to some younger men,” said South Campus student Jason Mitchell, host of the event.

“I feel like we’re handing down batons of foolery.”

His experience was a factor in prompting this discussion.

“I am the black man, the original man, the one and only man that others are afraid of because they know whenever given the opportunity, we succeed. That’s me in a nutshell,” said Ricky Clark, founder of Strategies To Elevate People.

After Kokayi Baruti, a representative of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, and Clark made their introductions, the meeting progressed to open discussion.

One of the main points of discussion was the lack of involvement or concern of some black males.

“Nobody cares now days about what’s going on around them unless it affects them directly,” said Larry Douglas, a South Campus student and president of the African American Male Enrichment Network student organization.

“Take a look at this room. There are 42 people here. Twenty-one are females, nine are males from 18 to 25, and six are African males,” he said. “The cafeteria is full of people. Nobody cares about anything real.”

The discussion turned to Barack Obama and how people think the struggles for black people are over because of Obama’s election.

“I feel like it’s the catalyst, the beginning of what needs to transpire and go on,” Mitchell said. “I love me some Barack, but I have to give Jesus his props. Jesus was a revolutionary as well. I am not impressed with black faces in high places unless they use their position to improve the conditions of our people.”

A caseworker for a homeless shelter introduced fear into the discussion.

“In the environment I work in, people are afraid of young African-American males and females. They think if they go and try to correct a young man they might get shot, get jacked or something might happen,” he said. “Now a lot of that is media, but a lot is true.

“So I resolved this point in myself in my life. If I see somebody doing something they have no business doing, I’m going to say something to them. Now if I get shot, I’m going to get shot for the right reason.”

Baruti offered some solutions to the problems.

“Systematic process is the type of proper response that needs to happen,” he said. “This is a response of a larger scale to the problems that are creating these adverse conditions.”

Baruti said for the black community to put its program into effect, it needs to have the plans, action, power, the policy and procedure.

“So, yes, it has to do with family, church and different entities in the community. But all of that needs to be comprehensive, planned and have an organized approach,” he said. “This is what has brought victory to people in not only the black community but throughout the world.”

Students who would like to get involved can contact Annie Dobbins, South Campus counselor, in SACD 1406B.

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