Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Civil Rights 2k13: Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.
Although I'm very late posting this, I wanted to take the time out to reflect on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage spring break trip. From the trip, I have gained a new perspective that has become very useful in many of my courses in discussing things like race and gender inequalities.
The Civil Rights Pilgrimage consisted of about forty students traveling by bus to and through six southern cites over the course of nine days learning about historical figures and events that help shape the society we live in today. Our first stop was in Atlanta, GA where we were able to meet Bernard Lafayette Jr. What an amazing start to the pilgrimage. I can't describe how inspiration his story is! I don't want to say too much because anyone reading this will hopefully get to experience everything that I did but in short, as a young teen he worked directly with MLK during the civil rights movement and continued to be a prominent leader after MLK Jr. tragic assassination. Here are my favorite things learned from Mr. Lafayette about how to address current issues and how to grow as leaders:
Focus on mistakes
What did we do that perhaps we should have done?
Examine very closely what has happened already
Analyze with a goal in mind
A lot of research is about what happened and not what could have happened
**If possible, try to manage your time.
Plan to use your time wisely.
Set goals high: don't just try to get by. You never know when they too score will help.
You can study and learn all you need without degrees but degrees will get you there faster. It's necessary.
Do what you do SO well! Tear it up.
You must feel worthwhile. Never feel that you aren't worthwhile. Your worth. Not your wealth. You value to life.
Discover as soon as possible what you can develop that can make your life worthwhile. Something that you can give. Because if you can do that then death is a myth.
"They they took MLK's life. He had already given his life. It was already too late. They missed. "
Your life: DO IT. GIVE IT.
Avoid negative inspiration
Stay in control of yourself.
Dont let someone rub you the wrong way. Try to understand why someone doesn't like you.
Violence is the language of the inarticulate.
Oppression is a system. With three parts.
1. Someone willing to be an oppressor
- Willing oppressors think they are doing the right thing. They believe that others are not human beings. Beings but not human.
2. People that accept the fact that its nothing they can do. "Stay in your place".
3. A majority of people who support actively or SILENTLY the oppression.
It's not what people say or do to you, it's how you respond. Character.
Can you learn to love others to where they are transformed?
"You can do this. If you make up your mind."
I didn't plan to dedicate this entire post to just things from the Dr. Lafayette talk but he was just that GOOD! These are quotes from the man himself! Enjoy!