by Free Press Staff – Political commentator orator, author and professor Dr. Marc Lamont Hill spoke to students for the The Edward Waters University (EWU) Distinguished Speaker Series. The series is a academic and experiential engagement initiative intended to raise awareness on ‘staying woke” with a collection of distinguished and scholarly African American speakers. Hill can currently be seen as an anchor for Black News Tonight, a primetime show on the Black News Channel.
The renown speaker began his address by giving praise to the legacy of Historical Black Colleges and University (HBCU). Hill’s focus was on black history from Phyllis Wheatley to W.E. Dubois, encouraging students, “to dream big, don’t just dream of a world with fuzzier prisons dream of a world where there are no prisons, don’t just dream of a successful #youtoo movement, dream of world where we rid ourselves of patriarchism, misogynist and the rape culture so we can live without the violence itself,” said Hill. According to urban legend, “stay woke,” became a watch word in parts of the black community for those who were self-aware, questioning the dominant paradigm and striving for something better; instead of just being a word that signaled awareness of injustice or racial tension, it became a word of action. Activists now use the word often to engage advocates in their quest for knowledge, activism and freedom.
Speaking for more than an hour, students also engaged Hill with a question and answer period concluding with student photo opportunities and an appreciation resolution from the college staff and students. “The primary aim of the series is to broaden the perspectives of our college community and widen our students’ overall academic experience beyond the classroom,” said EWC President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. “We intend for this vehicle to serve as a platform to provoke meaningful discussion, reflective and critical thinking, and provide enriching insight and illumination into the critical issues of our time.”
The next speaker will be rapper, entrepreneur and reality TV Star T.I. also known as Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.
Shown is Hill with EWU students, Jerinda Jenkins, Brianna Pendergrass and Tavis Woodard. (Donnell Bennett Photo)