Rally against racism promotes unity

Christina Stavale

Adrian Neal, president of Harambee, speaks at the Harambee Rally Against Racism. LESLIE L. CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Harambee President, Adrian Neal, said he believes music can heal a community. In light of racial tensions on campus this year, he decided to put together the Rally Against Racism to allow people to have a good time and relax.

Last night at the event, students began to sing and dance along with bands and music videos as they came together at the rally.

“Harambee means ‘let’s pull together,'” Neal said. “I’ve always been a firm believer that music can bring a community together.”

From hip-hop to punk rock, he said, any kind of music can do the same job. And musicians, poets and speakers at the rally all wanted to address the racial tensions.

Electronic media major David Ullman played his guitar and sang and said even though he is white, the issue of racism is very important to him.

“Especially in the past couple years, racism is an issue that’s coming more and more into the forefront of my mind,” he said. “Sometimes I feel like it’s all I see, but I don’t get to say much about it often.”

KSU-NAACP President Preston Mitchum spoke on behalf of his organization, one of the co-sponsors of the event. He said he’s experienced racial tensions on campus this year.

“To recognize it, you can borrow my skin complexion for a day,” he said.

Still, he said there are things people can do to fight racism and encouraged people to rally against it.

“We can find a way to beat it,” he said. “Maybe I’m just a little naive, but it’s the 21st century, so that’s got to mean something.”

Greg Griffith, a New Orleans native, who was in town for the Anti-Racist Action National Conference, also spoke at the rally, encouraging people fight racism by being an activist and getting involved.

“If you leave this campus and all you’ve learned is how to make money, you haven’t learned a damn thing,” he said.

Neal also performed a poem of his own called, “I Had a Dream,” about the black pride during the civil rights movement and today.

“I wish more people had come,” he said. “But even if it touched one person, it achieved its purpose.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].