Professor lectures on ‘Realizing the Dream’

By Brian Loschiavo
February 26, 2009

Black History Month is a time to look to the past, present and future at not just the achievements of well-known African Americans but everyday people. During the month of February, the lives of many important and influential African Americans are celebrated.

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, 50 Cabrini students and faculty gathered to listen to Dr. Darryl Mace assistant professor of history and political science speak at an event hosted by Cabrini College’s Student Diversity Initiative in the mansion.

The talk and question and answer was based around “Realizing the Dream.” Mace talked about the history of civil rights and the recent inauguration of our first black president and if it was the realization of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

“I think it is very important that we celebrate Black History Month,” Melissa Waters, director of Student Diversity Initiatives, said. “It is even more important that we all realize Black History Month is not just about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and now Barrack Obama; it’s more about celebrating the everyday African Americans.”

Mace presented a slideshow with pictures of men and women during the civil rights movement with questions asking if these people had dreams and that they did have dreams. One slide had pictures of African Americans protesting and another African American being lynched and asked if they had a dream.

The point of this being to realize that it was not just King that had a dream and its not just Obama that has a dream; all the African Americans that fought for civil rights had dreams as well.

“Individual dreams can become unified into bigger dreams,” Mace said. “Dr. King was just one person out of a million people that had a dream. Yes, he was a huge part of the civil rights movement, but he was just one piece of the big picture.”

Mace talked about the fact that Obama is not living out King’s dreams and that he has his own dreams. Throughout the election Obama has been looked at in the light of King almost taking away the reality of Obama’s own dreams as an African American.

“I think it’s a great thing that Dr. Mace spoke tonight about the civil rights movement and African

American History,” Brianna Lee, freshman graphic design major, said. “I really enjoyed hearing him talk about realizing the dream. It helped me to think about how many people are out there that go unrecognized for their contributions during Black History Month.”

Waters emphasized the importance of the celebration of Black History Month and that talking about these issues and reflecting on the past with the civil rights movement is always a step in the right direction.

“I learned a lot from Dr. Mace’s talk tonight,” Elizabeth Kelly freshman biology, pre med major chemistry minor, said. “I think talking about all of this is just another step in the right direction. It helps to define the true meaning of Black History Month.”

This question and answer session was something that helped Cabrini students and faculty to find a more definite meaning to Black History Month. It also helped to define the differences in the dreams of all African American people especially our first African-American President Obama and Dr. King.

“Everyone has a dream and every persons individual dreams should be recognized,” Mace said. “It needs to be known that each well known person that is recognized during Black History Month is just a small piece of the larger puzzle.”

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Brian Loschiavo

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