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MLK: Vision alive 55 years later

Phyllis+St.+Hubert
Phyllis St. Hubert

Phyllis St. Hubert

Phyllis St. Hubert

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Nearly 55 years after Martin Luther King Jr. gave a rallying speech in Boston on the benefits of a politically integrated society, Suffolk University’s Ford Hall Forum conducted a re-reading, highlighting how inequality is still prevalent today.

In “Moving Toward Justice: Reflections on MLK Jr.’s Vision For A United America 55 Years Later,” the presentation last tuesday aimed to celebrate King speech.

Through both the reading of these parts of the speech from recordings as well as through members of the Suffolk community, it was apparent to all who attended that the issues that were prominent in the 1960s are still very real issues today, and that everyone, particularly students, have the capabilities to express their voice.

“I feel it’s important to be empowered and use your voice because we do have the power,” said President of Black Student Union Phyliss St. Hubert in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

The speech given by King in 1963 mostly focused on desegregation in lew of Boston’s schools reluctance to desegregate in the 1960s. The Ford Hall Forum chose to highlight themes in the original speech that could also be seen as needed in today’s societal climate; the need for speed to gain political equality, integration over desegregation and the ultimate goal for an integrated society, destroying the myths that time will solve everything and that morality cannot be legislated, and the fear of the un-oppressed to speak out. The speech concluded with the urge to persevere through the hardships in order for the world to someday be a united society of equals.

The panel of faculty fielded questions from moderator Robert Bellinger as well as opening up the floor to take questions from the audience. The faculty started by sharing personal experiences, as well as their opinions on the government of the 1960s can be related to today with issues such as education, housing, healthcare and our judicial system.

Suffolk professor Mickey Lee, a member of the panel, discussed how bringing controversial topics to Suffolk can help to broaden the minds of the members of the university.

“I feel like Ford Hall Forum and other talks like it can work to bring staff, faculty and students from all three schools together,” said Lee. “The most important is to be in the same room with others that do not normally sit together. Especially now [in the current political system] we need to have that community.”

Members of the Suffolk community came forward to the board with questions on the future of America in terms of the rights of the people, personal experiences of injustice that still exists in our society and how to reach towards a more equal outcome that Dr. King Jr. was striving for.

“The Forum is a perfect opportunity to get involved and productively use my free-time,” said broadcast journalism major Anim Osmani in an interview with the Suffolk Journal. “I think [the Suffolk Community] can benefit from events like this because they have something to learn.”

The Ford Hall Forum will have their next event on April 5 in “Confronting Racism and Disparities: What’s next?”

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