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One of my life's ongoing missions...

Hundreds of Alabama State University students, faculty and staff filed into the Thelma Glass Auditorium only to be joined by Birmingham middle school students to listen to nationally acclaimed lecturer and civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams - the keynote speaker for the Black History Month Opening Convocation.

The convocation, sponsored by the Black History Month Committee, the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture along with the Lyceum Committee, featured presentations by the Tribe of Judah and selected students from the Department of History and Political Science.

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Evers-Williams enlightened the crowd with stories of the past and her 30- year pursuit to make sure her former husband, Medgar Evers' killer was brought to justice.

"One of my life's ongoing missions is to keep the memory of Medgar Evers alive," said Evers-Williams. "There have been many times, I've gone to colleges and students have no idea who he is."

Evers-Williams wanted students of ASU and students everywhere to become knowledgeable of all the people who have made contributions to history.

"I hope that all of you here are like sponges, soaking it all up" Evers-Williams said.

Senior communications major El-Lexis Caldwell said "It was informative and it gave life to what I read in the history books. I read about him (Evers) and saw the movie 'Ghost of Mississippi' about him, so it gave life to him and Mrs. Evers-Williams who stood for justice."

Caldwell also felt more ASU students should have been in attendance.

Evers-Williams continued to speak to the crowd, informing them of the current events around the nation and the state of African Americans.

"We still have a slave mentality. We're slaves to guns, money, cars etc. All the things that go away that are leading to our demise," Evers-Williams said. "You think you have it hard now? You don't. We could only study black history for a week and they dared us to talk about it or converse about it after it was done."

"The convocation was empowering and educational," said Adiliah Fisher-Grace, a junior biology education major. "It encourages you to look more into your history and when you do that, you learn more about yourself. I was very pleased with the turn out, I just wish it was in a larger venue."

"I tell you, study the history of Africa, study the history of your ancestors. People you should be proud of, you will see a history world wide," said Terri Sellers, senior history major.

"Let us not forget there we're others before Barack Obama," Evers-Williams said of the efforts blacks are making in the political world. "Those like Rev. Jesse Jackson and Shirley Chisholm, who also ran for president back in the 1972. There's a history behind all the block building that we are seeing today."

"On this campus I have been beyond inspired," said Evers-Williams after the program concluded. "I feel so strongly about ASU, I've been thoroughly inspired by the students and faculty who have a sense of their future. I trust that they take advantage of all the history of the campus and this area."

"Today's convocation is to formally set the tone and the theme of this month. This will usher in the rest of the activities," said Dr. Dorothy Autrey-Harris, chair of the Black History Month Committee.

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Posted in Law Post Date 06/04/2017


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