Black History Convocation

Division of Academic Affairs Hosts Black History Convocation

The Division of Academic Affairs organized a Black History convocation that incorporated the rich heritage black historians left behind and the importance of the black vote.

Division of Academic Affairs Hosts Black History Convocation

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4057 - Melody Dixon

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Tue Feb 18, 2020

Black History Convocation

The Division of Academic Affairs organized a Black History convocation that incorporated the rich heritage black historians left behind and the importance of the black vote.

Under the theme ‘Persevering through Change: African Americans and the Vote,’ the commemorative program and art gallery showcased a timeline of the African American community, from the past until now. Students read thought-provoking poems, and the Coahoma Community College choir entertained the audience with a pair of selections.

Sophomore Marquita Henderson, who serves as the vice president of the Honors College, gave the purpose of the event and shared her outlook on how notable black figures have personified perseverance.

“One main trait our black leaders had in common is the way they were all persistent in reaching their goals,” Henderson said. “They all fought for equal rights for people of color.

“Each one of them had a vision and did everything to achieve their vision, and like water, they didn’t let anything stop them. In honor of my leaders, I will never not use my voice. You may not agree with his politics, but Obama didn’t stop until he became the first black president. Because of them, I will never give up,” she expressed.

Leroy JohnsonNewly elected Holmes County supervisor Leroy Johnson brought the keynote address. He started by giving a little background about his upbringing, emphasizing that he “reared in a black farm community.”

Johnson provided a subtitle to the program’s theme.

“We can’t vote; they win. They control the vote; they win. We don’t vote; they win. I want to say that because somehow we’ve gotten to the place where we don’t think the vote is important,” he said.

Referring to the Afro-American fight for civil rights, Johnson said he knew the meaning of African Americans ‘raising their fist.’

“It meant something to say that I’m proud of who I am and I’m willing to fight to remain who I am,” he said.

Johnson gave a history lesson on the black vote, discussing how slavery and the misrepresentation of blacks made the Electoral College a necessity.

“We need today to make sure that we’re fighting for the things people are trying to take away from us,” said Johnson. “Not to vote is to surrender. Neutrality helps the oppressor, not the oppressed. We win when we stand together.”

Johnson is one of the founders of Southern Echo, Inc., which works toward building the capacity of Afro-American communities. He is credited as one of the organizers of the historic Mississippi legislative plan that doubled the size of the Black Caucus from 21 representatives to 42 representatives by the year 1992.

Dr. Valmadge TownerCoahoma Community College president Dr. Valmadge T. Towner closed the program thanking Johnson for doing the “unpopular work” through Southern Echo.

“There is a king or queen inside of you. Be about more than what is on the outside of your body, regardless of where you’re from or what the world tells you,” said Towner.

Click here to view more photos from this event.