BLACK STUDENT UNION SF STATE (12/11/08)
Kudos, to the San Francisco State University and the Black Student Union (BSU) for keeping the torch alive and empowering Black and other students to fight for what is right. The struggle continues and the espirit de corps is tighter and deeper today - or so I think it should be - given what we see - today.
Our Black students are intelligent and more so those that make a big sacrifice to stand for what is right. I especially admire those that learn as much as they can and then apply their education to what is happening in the community. That is the best practical experience, education and help they can give - humanity.
I was at the San Francisco State University to attend an Award Ceremony and also to observe the Black Student interact, perform, and express themselves.
On this day the students decided to honor some of their Professors, their fellow students, past students and the community members. The Black students did their best in the given circumstances.
They presented certificates and for those that loved Soul Food - they got a taste of that, too - the best that could be offered at SF State University.
In the sixties SF State was well known for protesting against injustices and demanding a curricula that represented Blacks. And, so from that sensible turmoil was born the African Studies that are so well - known today.
Initially, the Black Panthers themselves enrolled at SF State and helped organize the Movement. The paradox is that only four percent of the SF State students at that time were Black - but, they were so well organized that they could practically demonstrate on any issue and get - good results.
Times have changed today - few Black Professors - feel the enthusiasm and fail to inspire our Black Students today to live up to the expectations gained by the Civil Rights Movement - but also to bring about meaningful change, through meaningful dialog - today.
Black students at SF State and other centers of learning are worse off today. Many hurdles are brought in the way of Black students and even the money students pay for each Unit today - has been inflated many times over. Enrollment is down and that does not bother the authorities - that pay lip service - when it comes to fair play and opportunities. No one wants to be handed stuff for free on a platter - but if you do not give opportunities, open the doors - you keep the best out and embrace the chaff.
More Black women students roam the campus at SF State today and it is they that keep the Unity. The Black Brothers are few and some may know and others not cognizant to the fact about incarceration that is a trillion dollar business - affecting mostly Black men. Many intelligent Black men forced to live for years in small dirty, filthy jail cells - thinking much in solitary confinement and writing tales of pain and sorrow. It is as if another Plantation has been invented for modern times - and there are modern slave production operations in jails all over this Nation. These men should really have been learning in Universities.
My connection to the SF State University and the Black Student Union - is the Town Hall meeting that is held every Thursday at Grace Tabernacle Community Church in the Bayview Hunters Point area in San Francisco. We meet and have been meeting for the last two and half years to educate the community about a Rogue Company named Lennar - that with intent poisoned our children and elders.
Recently, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District fined Lennar over $515,000 for over 380 violations. The fine actually totaled $38 million but this measly slap on the wrist - made a point that the fine should have been greater.
Again, it is about discrimination - blatant discrimination at ground zero and adversely impacting mostly Black children and elders. The near by Public Housing at Hunters Point are mostly boarded up and every house finds some one suffering from Cancer and other respiratory diseases.
When the SF State Students arrive at the Church and the community takes one look at them - they all feel better. The community fully understands that these students when they listen to the speakers - will carry the memories of the Town Hall meeting far and wide. In the learning and acting with the community where ever these student go - they will take with them something special from the Town Hall meeting and make a huge difference.
The Awards Ceremony was simple yet very profound. Most of the speakers well deserved their Awards - and all of them encouraged the students to study well and do well in life. Many encouraged them to apply what they learned at the SF State University to their communities. A small group of SF State Black Student Union - already does that - and we the community truly appreciate their sacrifice and love.
The spoken word at this Event was greatly appreciated. Here are some photographs - December 11, 2008 in the Rosa Parks Room - at the SF State University:
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