FAMU hosts town hall on state of Black America

By: Lanetra Bennett I Eyewitness News
February 9, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- FAMU hosted a special town hall on the state of Black America, titled "For the Culture."

It was held in Lee Hall Auditorium Friday morning.

John Due, a civil rights attorney in Tallahassee, attended the town hall.

He says the black community has overcome segregation laws. "But now, the problem is more deeper than just race. We need to deal with what we need to do to help people become the best they can be," Due said.

Panelists addressed some of Due's concerns, among other issues.

Pre-medical student Kayanna Jacobs was particularly interested in the discussion on health disparities in the African American community.

"Such as our diets and mental health, something that's often ignored and it's something that needs to be addressed. Depression is something that affects many of us, especially because of the traumas that we see and face in our environments. They did do a good job at highlighting that," Jacobs said.

The panelists were Dr. David Jackson, Jr., Historian/Author/Associate Provost at FAMU; Dr. Larry E. Rivers, Former FAMU Arts and Sciences Dean/Historian/Author; Ramon Alexander, State Legislator/Former FAMU SGA President/Founder of Distinguished Young Gentlemen; and Alexandria Washington, Student Leader/White House HBCU All-Star.

It was moderated by Jacquell "The Apostle" Lawson, a Cumulus radio personality.

A top discussion also included the importance of and issues surrounding higher education.

"It's important for you all, when you come to this institution, to be serious about the opportunities that you have in front of you," Dr. Jackson said on the panel.

In regards to wealth and economic development in the black community, Dr. Rivers said, "Think about how to become producers and not simply consumers."

The town hall was held in lieu of FAMU's annual Black History Month Convocation. Administrators say it's the start of a new tradition.

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