You missed a great forum!

Is freedom really free?Why does the Willie Lynch concept still keep us divided today?

That’s just a taste for those of you who missed last Tuesday’s forum, “Rifts in the Black Community” hosted by the Delta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

The program opened with a reading of the Willie Lynch letter by Garrick Miller, which highlighted all of the strategies that were used to divide and conquer the African enslaved people, still affecting us today

Joseph Buchanan Vega, president of Alpha Phi Alpha discussed the issues of division that are present on campus.

Vega said that during times of crisis such as Jena 6 “We are putting on a front of unity without being unified.”

Some other topics discussed included freedom of the mind, race relations, and economic empowerment.

I felt informed. I felt enlightened. But as I looked around the Black and Gold room and saw rows and rows of empty seats, I felt disappointed. At an important forum that discusses problems affecting every member of the Black community less than 20 people, most of them Alphas were in attendance. Of that small handful of people, there were only four women (not counting myself) in attendance.

Where was everybody? Didn’t they see the flyers? They were posted everywhere on campus in full color. I understand everyone’s schedule isn’t free on Tuesday nights. But it seems like most of the time when there is a forum on campus, the only people showing up are members of the organization or people that want to be members.

This is not to say that hundreds of students needed to be there for an effective discussion to take place. But I wonder if it was a “Soulja Boy Crank It” contest how many people would have shown up?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be entertained. But whatever happened to attending a forum for the sake of being informed? Why does there always have to be an entertainment venue involved for students to get interested?

As college students and young adults at an institute of higher learning, it is time we start expanding our minds. It is time we just stop going to events just to get our “Jig” on or because we like the fraternity or sorority that’s hosting it.

In the future, I hope there are even more forums as motivating as “Rifts in the Black Community”. And I hope to see you all there.