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The Role and Responsibility of

the Black Student in the 21st Century

Black Students have always led the movement for change in America. Being “woke” implies that there are people who are “asleep”. On college campuses all over the United States and even around the world there are black students who are asleep as it relates to their history, culture, the science of politics, economics, religion, their past, present and future and what must be done to advance themselves collectively as a people. The phenomenon of being woke is a cultural push to challenge problematic norms, systemic injustices, and the overall status quo through complete awareness. Being woke refers to a person being aware of the theoretical ins and outs of the world they inhabit.


Woke(ness) provides us with a basic understanding of the why and how come aspect of societies’ social and systemic functions. The phrase itself is an encouragement for people to wake up and question dogmatic social norms. It requires an active process of deprogramming social conditionings focusing on consistent efforts to challenge the universal infractions we are all subjected to. The most “woke” among us are those that realize that awareness is not a destination, but rather a journey—a process of awakening, if you will.


Many millennial black students are coming into social, spiritual, cultural and political consciousness against a repressive system while attempting to figure out where they fit into the big bowl of acceptable American society. Black students persistently struggle with the double consciousness that DuBois describes in that achievement is lauded while at the same time the struggle to resist systemic oppression is imperative to for the Black collective well-being. Boycotts by athletes, building occupations, and resignation demands — all to force change for students of color — are not new acts. Black Lives Matter has found a place on campuses like the University of Missouri, Yale, Princeton and the historically black Howard University led all in the same way that the civil rights and black power movements once did.


This lecture brings this paradox into focus and calls on personal experience while negotiating with this struggle as a means to enlighten the listener.

Learning Outcomes include

1. Students will become familiar with some of the most important black student movements and students leaders in history.


2. The 3 questions black students must ask themselves daily.

3. Understanding Trump, Black Lives Matter, The Alt Right and Colin Kaepernick.

4. How to make your major, make YOU MAJOR!

5. Don’t get played, get paid.

6. How to wake and mobilize the masses of young black people to vote.

7. Ways black students can spark the movement to end police brutality.

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