The Maroon

Xavier University honors Black History Month with Social Media Activists

Marc+Lamont+Hill+speaks+about+activism+at+Xavier+University+Feb.+2.+%28Photo+credit%3A+Irving+Johnson+III%29
Marc Lamont Hill speaks about activism at Xavier University Feb. 2. (Photo credit: Irving Johnson III)

Marc Lamont Hill speaks about activism at Xavier University Feb. 2. (Photo credit: Irving Johnson III)

Photo by Irving Johnson III

Photo by Irving Johnson III

Marc Lamont Hill speaks about activism at Xavier University Feb. 2. (Photo credit: Irving Johnson III)

Skye Ray

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As Black History Month celebrations popped up around the city of New Orleans, Xavier University, a historically Black college, led the way.

Through a free series of lectures, Xavier opened its doors to educate the public about social activism, political involvement and the current political state of America.

The first of the speakers was Marc Lamont Hill. A former CNN contributor and current BET News correspondent, Hill is known for  his activism on social media outlets including Twitter and Instagram. On Feb. 2, Hill began his speech with the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” commonly called the “Black American National Anthem.”

Throughout the rest of the night, Hill focused his speech on one thing: perseverance, not only challenging one’s own character but the surrounding community.

“As activists we must first learn to listen. It quickly becomes a moral, ethical and political skill to know that voices have value,” Hill said. “Once we’ve heard the stories of our people, it’s a necessity to become brave, to challenge America to be as good as it can be.”

Hill began by calling the audience to action.

“We need courageous freedom fighters who are willing to struggle, especially when it gets difficult,” Hill said.

His suggestion for starting a change is to use social media to engage with the community, since it is a daily resource for news and information for this generation.

“We need to connect. We need to be linking and connecting our campus to our communities,” Hill said.

Hill encouraged students to think of themselves as the next leaders who can bring change and justice to their communities and the world.

Amber David-Prince, Xavier’s director for campus activities, wanted the speaker to teach unique lessons for the Xavier community.

“I was looking for a speaker who has been very vocal in the media,” she said. “Someone who understands and can communicate to students.”

Students from all over Louisiana came to New Orleans to attend the event, filling up the ballroom.

Loyola music freshman Lyndsey Murray enjoyed meeting other students at the event.

“It was very nice to be able to talk to students from all over the state about changing our country,” Murray said. “I sat next to someone from Louisiana State University and we shared very similar ideas.”

Murray said Hill’s speech inspired her.

“He encouraged us as young students to never be silent and continue to fight for what we believe in,” she said. “I now know how to use social media in a positive light, to spread awareness and make a change in our country.”

The speaker series will continue on Feb. 16 with Shaun King and Feb. 22 with Steven Elem Rogers. More information about the speaker series can be found on Xavier University’s website.

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Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Xavier University honors Black History Month with Social Media Activists