Benjamin McKnight III, Editor-In-Chief
HuffPost Live host and Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill headlined the Black History Month lecture hosted by the SGA and Office of Student Activities on Thursday evening.
The lecture, titled “Social Media and Social Justice,” also featured a panel discussion in which Morgan State professors Natasha Harris, Lorece Edwards and Raymond Winbush, moderated by fellow professor Paul Archibald.
With nearly all of the seats filled, the panelists spoke to the audience about the importance and relevance of social media in today’s civil rights movements and how social media isn’t as new as many think it is.
“When I grew up, social media was the television,” said Winbush. “I think it’s a definition that white folk gave it, because black folk been doing it for years.”
The panel also delved into how effective activism is conducted, focusing primarily on unity. “I see social movement happen in such a way that it involves a collective behavior,” Harris said. She went on to say that not every individual needed to do the same exact thing, but that there was a root understanding of a common act and goal. Winbush cited the Occupy Wall Street movement as a failed revolution due to what he described as a lack of cohesiveness.
When Hill took the stage, he challenged the audience to “ask a different question.” “Let’s stop tweeting about driving while black and start tweeting about
patrolling while racist,” Hill said to a roaring applause from those in attendance. “If you don’t ask the right question, you’re never gonna get the right answer.”
As the panelists earlier, Hill also spent time stressing the need for black people to be active in multiple fronts of today’s movements, including on social networks.
“We use social media to counter-narrate,” he said, using his Ferguson experience as an example. “If you have your own media outlets, your own YouTube channels, your own whatever, you can counter-narrate.” Hill’s words were well received by his audience, who gave him a standing ovation as he closed out.
As the month progresses, there will a handful of other events at Morgan to commemorate Black History Month, the last being the 1st Annual Black History Festival on February 27.