Monday, November 29, 2021

Reverend will speak at annual Black Power Rally

September 25, 2000

The Rev. Al Sharpton is scheduled to speak at this year’s Black Power Rally, a Black Student Alliance-sponsored event scheduled for Oct. 20.

Sharpton, a Pentecostal minister, is best known for his political and civil rights activism.

He became the first black to run for a seat in the New York state Senate in 1978, and he’s the founder of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization formed in 1991.

He has led several high-profile protests, including a 1987 march that shut down the Brooklyn Bridge and a demonstration following the shooting of unarmed Ghananian immigrant Amadou Diallo by New York City police in 1999.

The Black Power Rally is an annual event that showcases song, dance and poetry at MSU.

Auditions are currently being held for those wishing to perform at the rally.

Social relations junior and BSA Political Affairs Director Crystal Price said the event is designed to promote “cultural diversity.”

“It’s meant to bring together different cultures through various expressions of pride,” she said. “It’s meant not only to bring together the MSU community but to increase morale and encourage students to become more politically involved.”

While the event’s title may intimidate some, communication junior and BSA president Tonya Upthegrove said the Black Power Rally does not have negative connotations.

“This event doesn’t put down or degrade anyone,” she said.

“We have certain issues that we need to address as a community within ourselves before we can let others address them for us.”

Murray Edwards, senior coordinator for Minority Student Affairs at MSU, said he encourages black students to attend the rally.

“Students should come to this because, first of all, it’s for and about them,” he said. “But it’s also a chance to gain some knowledge about their culture and the happenings in their community.”

For more information about auditions, contact Price at pricecry@msu.edu or BSA Vice President Giovannie Thomas at thomasgi@msu.edu.

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