Diamond Durant, Contributing Writer
Students gathered in the university student center Thursday night for a special event titled, “Do Black Lives Matter to Black People?”, a concrete discussion based around education, economics, war and more in the black community.
The open discussion was facilitated by Enoch Muhammad, a southside Chicago native and empowerment specialist with a love for music that led him to birth Hip-Hop DetoxX. Muhammad defines Hip-Hop as “truth without boundaries” and DetoxX as the “removal of poison”, forming the non-profit organization aimed at developing better socio-emotional life skills for youth.
Muhammad kicked off the event by asking everyone in the room under the age of 25 to break up into two teams and build a structure out of a bunch of white paper. Though at first it didn’t seem directly related, the ice-breaking activity turned out to be a clear cut lesson on foundation and how important it is to have a strong one.
Speaking much about his humble beginnings at the age of 14, Muhammad pointed out that he was solution based, striking a conversation that would not only touch on topics in the black community but brainstorm ideas to break down the wall from within.
He stressed how important it is to know that the youth is not the future, but the present and that everyone must consider themselves a walking institution with plenty of work to do. He encouraged students and guests to channel an unapologetic solution that is fitting to their craft.
“If black lives matter to black people, we can’t be filled with shame and guilt,” he said. The idea of the millennial generation “doing their part” became a central key point throughout the discussion.
Historian, archivist and student minister Carlos Muhammad, who works for the Department of Juvenile Services also gave a few words of empowerment at the event. “Unity; it’s a word that often gets played with but we have to drop all petty arguments aside and we have to bring a pooling of our resources in the areas that we are strongest in and unite,” Carlos Muhammad said.