By | Nichelle Cobb
On Friday, January 12th FAMU hosted its annual MLK convocation to Honor the life and legacy of the civil rights leader. From musical selections, speakers, to special presentations the program was a beautiful way to celebrate the life of Dr. King.
This year’s speaker was Attorney Benjamin L. Crump, who is also the CEO of Benjamin Crump Social Injustice Institute. Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s most powerful attorney’s and advocates for civil rights and social injustice. The FSU graduate served as the 73rd president of the National Bar Association and is the current president of the National Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association. Attorney Crump has received several awards and honors throughout his career. He has also worked on high profile cases including those of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
Attorney Crump gave a thought-provoking speech that called FAMU to take a stand against social injustice and racial inequality. The speech was powerful, informative, and transparent. One of the overall themes of his message was “If you don’t stand for something then it don’t mean nothing.” Crump explained that social injustice is still alive in today’s society just as it was at the time of Dr. King. “Fighting for people and the community, that’s what civil rights are about,” said Crump. According to Crump fighting consist of making decisions based on moral justice and using our education to uplift others in the community.
Furthermore, “We have to forget about precedence and fight for what’s right,” said Crump. There were many laws created years ago making racial injustice legal, however just because something is legal or highly accepted in our justice system that doesn’t make it right. Crump passionately expressed that there are laws in place to keep African Americans from succeeding that’s why it’s up us to stand up and fight despite what the legal system says.
Leadership was a keyword Attorney Crump used in his call to action to FAMU. Member of the Honors Student Association Victoria Alaka said: “As Crump was speaking about leadership it caused me to realize that no matter the form of leadership we choose to take on it can always be beneficial to our community.” Attorney Crump was alluding to leadership is about action and not necessarily the position you have. “Even the small things you do can have a great impact,” said Alaka.
Dr. King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Attorney Crump referred to this powerful quote when explaining that although social injustice may not be occurring in your community, that doesn’t mean you can’t stand up and fight against it. Fourth Year student Phillip Elam said, “I was motivated by Crump’s speech because it made me evaluate the things I stood for and how it relates to my purpose.”
Crump’s overall theme of “Where Do You Stand” is a thought-provoking way to influence our community to become united and carry out the dreams of Dr.King and other civil rights leaders. Therefore, by the closing of Crump’s speech, it was clear that FAMU was standing against racial inequality and standing up to fight against social injustice.
By | Nichelle Cobb