The brothers of the Gamma Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. on the campus of Grambling State University held their annual Black History program on Tuesday, Feb. 17.
The small gathering was convinced that black history is, “More Than A Month!”
Though the Favrot Student Union room 242 was filled with a few students, the brothers and guests experienced a true awakening. The audience was reminded of the integral importance of Black American descendants of slavery that created the foundation and continue to impact American society.
The event began with a prayer, followed by an icebreaker activity where the audience was encouraged to ask one another what they knew about Black history from a fact sheet and then discussed.
The crux of the event came with the speaker, Dr. Kevin Washington Ph.D, head of Psychology and Sociology department at Grambling State University.
Washington used the ice breaker to introduce what wasn’t just a speech on Black pride, but more of a conversation about the state of Blacks in our society that ranged from the literal into the depths of the metaphysical in how Blacks should think about themselves.
Washington discussed greats, such as Benjamin Banneker who built the first clock which ran for 40 years with accuracy, as well as drew the blueprints for Washington D.C; Charles Drew who established the conducted the first blood bank and performed the first blood transfusion; Marie V. Brittan Brown who invented the first home security system; and Madame C. J. Walker is deemed as the first Black female millionaire in 1910.
Washington also reminded the group that many of the buildings on campus are named after prominent Black leaders. Such as, Fredrick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, George Washington Carver, Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Carter G. Woodson, who was the founder of National Negro Week which is now known as Black History Month.
There were also many others who built the wealth of this country with blood, sweat, tears, and ingenuity.
“Blacks are the seeds of seeds that were planted from the ancestors into present day,” Washingtonsaid.
Then he spoke on the question of “Where is the Black wealth?”. Washington clearly explained that from the countries founding that the institution of slavery insisted that whatever Blacks created did not belong to them. They were owned by their masters who also owned the innovations and inventions.
Washington said this practice has continued through present day in legal and political policies as well as corporate infrastructure and has been executed so well along with other travesties within the Black community that it is a wonder that collectively the community is not aware of the country’s wealth gap, which has literally flat-lined Blacks in comparison to Caucasian counterparts, from 25 trillion in 1990 to over 100 trillion today.
Washington continued by stressing the importance of independence and Black ownership of property, whether it be intellectual, innovative or product.
Other points magnified dealt with the self-respect of Blacks towards each other and how they create life itself. The mindset introduced was one of protection from negative imagery and information where Washington related the concept.
“When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions,” Washington said.
The most cohesive take away was that Washington strongly reminded the audience of the importance of the Black community and their relationship towards one another, the country and around the world.
Washington concluded the talk by emphasizing a positive way of thinking will provide the foundation for Blacks to never be afraid of being themselves and this is where pride begins to last every day of each year.