Black history event teaches importance of advocacy for black communities

Published: Feb. 17, 2018 at 10:04 PM CST
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Dozens in the Fox Valley attended the 19th Annual Black History Program at UW Fox Valley on Saturday. The event hosted by African Heritage Inc. teaches people about black history and advocacy for the black community.

Artists and speakers of the program say they want the audience to know how it feels to be black in America.

"Anybody who comes are going to be exposed to various perspectives as it relates to being black in America. In addition to that we are going to engage individuals that come to this program to be advocates for the rights of African Americans," said Dr. Bola Delano, Co-founder of African Heritage Inc.

"In the recent shooting that just occurred unfortunately in the school in Florida, on one of the issues that has been coming up is the mental health of the criminal, and that is not something that is being afforded to the black community, even when the victim is black," said Dr. Jamila Lyiscott, the event’s keynote speaker.

Atlanta based singer and anti-bullying advocate, Madisyn Elise, performed a passionate piece about slavery and oppression.

"The racial injustices that my ancestors have faced have been so real and I think even recently we've seen a lot of discrimination in America and our politicians really need to stand up and our legislators need to pass laws that are in favor of our black communities," said Elise.

During the keynote Dr. Lyiscott focused on anti-blackness, and how it's being fed by white supremacy.

"This is not about fighting against white supremacy only, it's about fighting for powerful black futures, powerful multicultural futures. As a black woman I'm very excited about the possibilities that exist once we can truly understand the fight that we're up against in this country," said Dr. Lyiscott.

“I think that we look to the Martin Luther Kings and the Condoleezza Rices, and people who have walked this earth before us who have made change for us now, but we have to stand here and fill their shoes and it is big shoes to fill, but we can do it,” said Elise.