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January 16, 1996 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Million Man
March viewed
with King's
legacy, impact
By Jeff Eldridge
Daily Staff Reporter
Last year's Million Man March will go
down in history as a landmark event of Afri-
can American introspection and as aquest for
increased self-determination.
That was the resounding message presented
by six panelists before an audience of 300 in
yesterday's forum, "The Million Man March:
Where Do We Go From Here?"
Hanley Norment, president of the Mary-
land NAACP, interpreted the relationship
between the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Why distill Martin
Luther King into a
dlreamer? I believe
that man was awake!"
- Rev. Dawud Muhammed,
Nation of Islam
andthe spirit of the Million Man March.
"It is significant that this assessment of the
Million Man March is being made on Martin
LutherKing's birthday," Norment sajd. "(He)
vould have been a fervent supporter of its
purposes and its goals."
Lester Spence, a Rackham doctoral candi-
date, recounted his experience as a partici-
pant in the march.
He said there were people occupying the
~Washington Mall fron the White House to
the Lincoln Memorial. "We were so taken in
by the day, by the experience, by the brothers
around, we only got to take in a few of the
speakers," Spence said.
Norment said the march has led to several
smaller-scale imitations in cities and towns
across the country.
LSA senior Sherise Steele, speaker of the
Black Student Union, said the march was
'meaningful even to college students who
were unable to attend.
- Steele also said that, as a woman, she did
not feel excluded from the event. "It never
occurred to me that I wasn't invited or that it
wasn't forme, because I think in a way it was
for me."
The Rev. Dawud Muhammed, a represen-
tative from the Nation of Islam, criticized the
way themedia havesimplified King's legacy.
"Why tape and distill Martin Luther King
into a 'dreamer?"' Muhammed said. "I be-
lieve that man was awake! "
Muhammed also criticized the media's
portrayal of black men.
"There's a considerable number of whites
who fear black men because of the way
they're portrayed in the media," he said,
referring to the television program "Cops" as
one of the few dramatic shows where black
men are seen on a regular basis.
LSA sophomore Tiffany Matthews said she
walked away from the forum with a new per-
spective of the event. "The march was more
than just a whole bunch of black men pretend-
ing they wanted to make a change- they were
serious about the purpose of the march."


The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 16, 1995 - 8A&

Above: Former Surgeon General
Dr. Joycelyn M. Elders delivers the
keynote address for the University's
ninth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Symposium at Hill Auditorium yesterday.

Right: The Alliance for Justice put up,
signs renaming campus buildings byd
replacing the original names with
those of civil rights leadersT
and social activists.
Photos by SARA STILLMAN/Daily .. ~A .,
AlUnmi Association honors 2 students fo
essays on social justice in America

Panel says racial.
division affects
housing, labor
By Souya Mhan
Daily Staff Reporter
Five papers presented yesterday as part of a pane*
discussion addressed the problems in using race as a
major factor in making hiring and housing decisions.
The panel - "Race, Labor Markets and the City" -
pointed out how discrimination plays a prominent role in
modern society. David Featherstone, the director of the
Institute for Social Research, moderated.
Camille Zubrinsky, an assistant sociology professor at
The Ohio State University, presented her paper - "Race
and Residential Segregation in the City of Angels" -
using Los Angeles as an example of how race discrimina4
tion exists in public housing.
"Whites are the most preferred neighbors while blacks
are the least," Zubrinsky said.
"Blacks are the group most open to a racially diverse
and culturally mixed society," he asserted.
Other panelists focused on discrimination within
America's job market.
Economist Chris Tilly spoke specifically about em-
ployer screening methods and racial exclusion, while
emphasizing that blacks' ability to get jobs has taken a
"turn for the worse" in the past 15 years.
Tilly attributed some of the downturn to more wide'
spread use of informal, subjective screening mechanisms,
which he said impede the hiring of black men and women
into high-skill jobs.
Sociologist Larry Bobo, who co-authored Zubrinsky's
paper, spoke about racial discrimination in a multi-ethnic
job market.
Bobo reported a relatively high overall discrimination
rate, especially toward blacks, and said that the likelihood
of experiencing discrimination increases with increasing
education. His report pointed to a general potential for
ethnocentric bias.
Michigan State University economics Prof. Harry Holzei
and Alice O'Connor, a professor of history at the Univer-
sity of California at Santa Barbara, also spoke about
varying levels of race discrimination in employment.
Three University professors addressed the audience fol-
lowing the panel's presentations and gave their opinions'
about the presented papers. None ofthe University commen-
tators were black.
Featherstone said invitations had been sent out to prominent
blacks in the community but none of them could make it.
"It was not an exclusion by design, but an exclusion due
to other responsibilites," Featherstone said.
age raises new
verything will be qi
ormed... not let a racalequality
o vote," she said. By Christopher Wan
aid. People "must For the Daily
4artin Luther King Theminformation age brings newchal-
,dent membership lenges to the struggle for social equal-
dentmemershp- ity, and the ability to access informa
or of the Office - tion must not separate America's social
r of the ie of classes.
on, executive di- This argument was the cornerstone
, Edith Bletcher, of a presentation by Earl Lewis yester-
SEdithe Biletherday at the Clements Historical Library:
cted the fsilms "The Lewis is a professor of history and
cled the history of Afro-American & African Studies, and
cussion followed the author of"In Their Own Interests:
Race, Class, and Power in Twentieth
Century Norfolk."
The one-hour lecture, in the library's
main room, was attended by a very
diverse audience ofmore than50 people.'
Many said Lewis' chosen format, i
which he relates a conversation he has'
with himself, was interesting, informa-
tive and thought-provoking.

Lewis discussed how "the develop-
op-ranked ment of the information age may indeed
begin to re-entrench certain aspects of
social inequality into the future of
S; America" and the roles of the Univer-
.sity, the state and the country in that
"The one point that he makes that I
think is particularly pertinent and itcam
to me," said Liese Hull, a graduate-stu
eek at dent in psychology, "is that information'
rnd is increasingly becoming a commodity
earch that separates one class from another,s
we keep hearing about these disparities
in social class and we know that race is
in-state linked to class.
"Information is increasingly becom,
ing yet another commodity that sep =
ield. rates one class from another," Hull said.
jesirble."When we are not allowing general pq*i
desirable. cess to information, we are looking-lt
another way in which we can continue
ERNSHIP disparity between groups in this coun-
Mary Alice Parker, a member of the
iU.EDU history faculty at the University of To-
ledo, said that the lecture "raises issues
that we need to deal with."
"Regardless of improvement andtech-
nology, if we don't make people stop
and think about what's going on and th#
fact that we're all community, we would
maybe find ourselves having a greater
cross divide between groups," she said.
ng learning. "The general message to the audi-
ting-edge ence," Lewis said, "is that all of us
should take a position, allofusshould be
[ critical onsumars Af infnrmatinn and

By Laura Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter
Students were invited to demonstrate the power
of the written word as a vehicle for change as part
of an essay contest commemorating MLK Day.
Building on the theme of this year's celebration
and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the
essays addressed the topic: "Affirmation through
Action: What can we as individuals do to ensure
liberty and justice for all?"
The second annual Student Essay Contest was spon-
sored by the University Alumni Association and the
Office of Financial Aid in celebration of King's life.
The two winners, Emre Conklu and Rebecca
Rodriquez Marko, read their essays yesterday dur-
ing a seminar at the Alumni Center commemorating
MLK Day.

Conklu, an LSA junior concentrating in an-
thropology-zoology, said he was prompted to
write the essay after reading an article in The
Michigan Daily which made him realize that
"minorities haven't attained .,. respect from the
Conklu responded to the contest's theme by empha-
sizing that racial tensions could be reduced by "re-
specting, understanding and listening to each other."
"Martin Luther King Jr. wanted change in soci-
ety," he said. "Our society is evolving, requires new
perceptions. (King) contributed ... to this change."
Marko, an LSA sophomore studying English and
film and video studies, said she focused her essay on
"avenues that citizens can take" to reform the govern-
ment in order to protect civil rights.
"l know that ... just because (a law) is written,"

Marko said, "it doesn't mean e
Individuals need to "keep inf
campaign manager tell us how tc
"We have the power," she sa
continue fighting for the vision N
Jr. shared ... and never stop."
The awards of $250 and a stu
in the University Alumni Asso
sented by Judith Harper, direct
Financial Aid, and Steve Graft
rector of the Alumni Associati
After the award presentation
the program's organizer, presen
Shadow of Hate," which chroni
intolerance in America. A dis
the film.

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