Student Life

Soup and Substance focuses on the importance of black history

CMU Director of Civil Rights and Institutional Equality Jeannie Jackson, left, Assistant Professor of Couseling and Special Education Professor LaShonda Fuller Ph.D., CMU Academic Advisor Marceil Davis, and CMU NAACP President Perrty Watkins discuss civil rights during the Soup and Substance event Tuesday afternoon in the Rotunda room at the Bovee University Center. (Zack Wittman/Staff Photographer)

Central Michigan University Director of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity Jeannie Jackson, left, Assistant Professor of Couseling and Special Education Professor LaShonda Fuller, CMU Academic Adviser Marceil Davis, and CMU NAACP Chapter President Perry Watkins discuss civil rights during the Soup and Substance event Tuesday afternoon in the Rotunda room at the Bovee University Center. (Zack Wittman/Staff Photographer)

The social progress the black community has seen over history was the subject of yesterday’s Soup and Substance event at the Bovee University Center.

This discussion brought in an audience of nearly 30, mostly comprised of students.

Free and open to the public, Soup and Substance hosted four panel members who fostered discussion on the fight for equality in recent decades.

“The point of today’s event is bridging the gap; to see how far we have really come,” Multicultural Academic Student Services Assistant Director D’Wayne Jenkins said. “We (discussed) how far the African-American community has come since the Civil Rights Movement.”

The panel ranged in age and perspective and composed of Jeannie Jackson, director of the Office of Civil Rights and the Institutional Equity, LaShonda Fuller, counseling and special education department assistant professor, Marceil Davis, Pathways to Academic Student Success Academic Adviser, and Central Michigan University NAACP Chapter President Perry Watkins, a Sicklerville junior.

Jackson, who had first-hand experience in the Civil Rights Movement, called for black history to be shared and celebrated.

“I have seen the lynching, segregation, African-Americans not being able to vote, and I had a personal relationship with Rosa Parks,” Jackson said. “For me, the passion is still there for black history. We need to keep the passion and keep fighting. We pass a lot of things around on the Internet: jokes, emails and pictures. Why not pass on the history? Talk about the culture, experiences and really listen and share.”

Watkins expressed concern that the importance of acknowledging and celebrating history is lost on many people today.

“The fight has gone down, because, in my generation, we are misinformed,” Watkins said. “We also tend to think that (the general knowledge of black history) is nonexistent now, but it does exist; it is just more subtle. We need to take the time to appreciate this and become aware.”

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