LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On what would have been his 90th birthday, the McNeese Student Life Coalition held a celebration in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be at this University, I wouldn’t have met the friends that I have made," said Chelcee Gilliams, president of the Student Life Coalition. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today because of all the things that he has done and revolutionized.”
They brought in Brandon Brown, known in the music world as “Griot B” to help educate students on minority culture.
“I go around to colleges, universities, high schools and elementary schools," Brown said. "I actually teach about history using the rap music. I think our country is the strongest when all people are uplifted and can perform to the highest possible aptitude. We have to actually change the narrative.”
Gilliams says he talks about black history in a way that students can better understand.
“For the people of color, it gives them a sense of pride," Brown said. "It gives them a different direction to go to. It gives them some uplift. Those who aren’t of color, it gives them a different perspective that maybe they’re not getting.”
Cole Pharris, a freshman at McNeese, says having celebrations like this raises awareness.
“Living in Southwest Louisiana is really, it’s really difficult to see the positive connotations," Pharris said. "Martin Luther King does a really good job of highlighting the positives.”
Brown says his main goal is to educate, especially about positive minority roles.
“I think that can eliminate some ignorance in this country," Brown said. "Ignorance really is how a lot of negative things happen.”
To learn more about “Griot B” click HERE.