BLACC hosts MLK and activist panel


Juliet Suess

By Khyra Stiner ’21
Four African-American rights activists visited the school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The four panelists, Bakari Kitwana, Yusef Salaam, Jasiri X and Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, spoke to attendees about both their personal experiences participating in activism and how these experiences have affected their current lives. They also spoke about Dr. King and how his words and speeches have made an impact on their lives.
“I’ve been telling my parents about how black people are the reason they get to see out that ‘American Dream,’” Johnson said during the panel.
The event was moderated by Kitwana, and the panelists told their personal stories, including Salaam’s take on being imprisoned after being falsely accused in the Central Park Jogger case and Jasiri X speaking about an original song that he wrote about the Jena Six case.
“I feel like it was really informational and inspirational because sometimes people might think that you feel one way but you have to stay and fight against stuff, so I thought it was really powerful,”  attendee Idalis McZeal ’21 said.
The panel took place at the upper school campus from 5 to 7 p.m. All members of the school community were invited to attend the event. The panel was an opportunity to inform the youth about social activism in this day and age and how they can make an impact.
“Use what you’re passionate about to make a difference,” Jasiri X said.