The Black Lives Matter Colloquium at Ramapo College has provided me with extensive information regarding the essential aspects to the movement that I was previously unaware of.
The information about Black activism at Ramapo College by Professor Regina Clark was eye-opening because of how little I had known before this panel. Professor Indya Jackson's presentation on Black radical tradition in New Jersey, which described how Black people in the state fought for equality throughout history, had a similar effect on me.
I was taught the significance of Black entrepreneurship and learned how hard it is for people of color to start and run their own businesses, and I learned the importance of supporting these businesses. This panel was held by Professor Tammi Redd and her guests were Shanikwa Lemon, who owns a tutoring center called Beyond the Books, and Catherine McCall, who is a spiritual medium/intuitive.
Learning about the social effects of photography by Professor John Peffer taught me how even photography segregates Black people, because most settings are made for white people and the lighting that would best suit them.
Finally, learning about race, criminalization and the creation of the prison complex from Dr. Karl Johnson truly opened my eyes to the grip of structural racism on the prison industry and on America as a whole
My understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black experience has only grown and made me want to fight for equality and social justice more after this colloquium.
The Black Lives Matter Colloquium was a wonderful experience. Each week I looked forward to being educated more on the Black experience, which is something I, and so many other people, were not educated on in past history classes.
History classes, in my opinion, mostly teach about white history or the white side of history, and the information taught in the colloquium filled in some of the gaps in my education on Black history.
I am so happy that I took this course because I was able to learn about Black history and the modern Black experience. Of course, there is so much more to learn, but this colloquium has inspired attendees like myself to continue learning and to help the future generations learn about these topics as well.
If more people are educated on Black history, more and more people may join the fight of the Black Lives Matter movement.