Students talk politics and legacy
Jill Scott’s sultry jazz voice serenaded students who attended the Conservatism in Black America lecture Tuesday in the Oberholtzer Ballroom.
The program, a joint effort between UH’s NAACP chapter and Collegiate 100, invited students of all political beliefs to come together during Black History Month and learn about influential black Republicans and to hold a candlelight vigil on the one-year anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s death. The event also payed tribute to Dr. Marguerite Ross Barnett, UH’s first female and first black president, who passed away on Feb. 26, 1992.
“I came here with my presentation on black Republicans in America,” said Eno Crabtree, Vice Chair of the Political Action Committee for UH’s NAACP, “and to also educate people on our history, on things they may not know.”
Political science and communications senior Jessie Smith, the president of UH’s NAACP and the secretary of Collegiate 100, opened up the program and said it was coming from “a more political standpoint” and then turned it over to Crabtree and his presentation on famous and influential Republicans in black American history.
Crabtree showed a video of Colin Powell, the first African-American to be appointed U.S. Secretary of State, addressing the essence of leadership.
“If there’s anything I want you to take away from this event, it’s (this) video,” Crabtree said.
Booker T. Washington and Fredrick Douglas were next on the list, and Crabtree talked about their principles and how they can be used.
After students shared their reasons for being Democrats, Republicans or neither, they watched a video featuring the Rev. Wesley Leonard discussing why he is Republican.
Following the video, students had a discussion about gun control, gang violence, gay marriage and the daily problems with racism.
“There is still a standard of eurocentricity affecting the United States,”said public relations junior Isiah Gentry.
At 8:30 p.m., Smith lit the candles for the vigil, and the room swelled with emotional music.
Smith asked everyone to stand and bow their heads as he said a prayer and closed the ceremony.
English and political science junior Marcus Smith, another NAACP PAC chair member said, “I came to be educated, which is the best thing one can be.”
UH’s NAACP fourth general meeting will be held March 19.