Expo explores black history

While Barack Obama’s presidency is writing a new chapter in U.S. history, a high school in Crosby will stimulate new discussion of black history with the community’s youth. ‘

Crosby High School will host Transition to Change: The 2009 African American Heritage Experience on Saturday.’

The event includes a Black Business Expo showcasing local businesses, representatives from historically black universities and a panel discussion that will consider questions such as ‘Has black history faded?’ and ‘How to reach today’s youth?’

Political science and African American Studies assistant professor Christine LeVeaux is a guest panelist for the event.’

LeVeaux said the event’s title ‘Transition to Change’ plays a role in expressing the importance of the first elected black president.

‘Blacks in America are being called to redefine themselves, their mission and who they are, and – with the election of Barack Obama – what they can do and what they can be,’ LeVeaux said.’

The event will help bring to light issues that black Americans continue to face, even after Obama’s election. LeVeaux said she’s interested in how the election will affect black identity.

‘ ‘In some ways there’s a renewed interest (in black history) and in some ways some might feel like that chapter is over in terms of the struggle,’ she said.

Franklin Anderson, an adjunct lecturer of African American Studies, said it is too early to tell the impact Obama will have on black history.’

‘(The election has) different meanings for different people,’ Anderson said. ‘Has (Martin Luther) King’s dream been fulfilled? From my perspective no – not in a negative perspective. But it’s way too early to tell.’

Anderson said he cautions against relying on one man to change everything.

‘MLK could not have succeeded if literally tens of thousands of people hadn’t participated. If other people hadn’t decided to not ride the bus, it wouldn’t have been successful,’ Anderson said. ‘We can’t be solely dependent on what Barack Obama does. Just like MLK. There has to be a collective effort.’

While LeVeaux remains optimistic, she said the fading of history and the repercussions of such an occurrence is an issue.

‘ ‘We have to be very careful to always acknowledge our past,’ LeVeaux said. ‘We cannot let black history fade.’ … There has to be a vigilance in terms of maintaining that history because that’s where so much of our pride and identity comes from.’

The theme of the African American Heritage Experience is ‘rewinding our past to start our future.”

The event is free and open to the general public. For more information, contact Thinyia Maxey at (832) 527-1976 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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