I usually never stay at college till 9 pm. However, flyers, posters, and banners of Frederick Douglass caught my attention. I decided to attend Frederick Douglass event on 7th November 2018 at 7 pm. I am a liberal and one of my majors is in Political Science. I deeply care about present-day racism commonly seen in police brutality and in the US prison system. I am highly interested to learn from history and this GCC event was definitely worth my time. The librarian allowed me to sit inside the T-102 hall room half an hour before the event started. Derek Maxfield-Associate Professor of History greeted me as soon as I entered the hall room. History Professor Derek Maxfield also got the honor to introduce Nathan Richardson. Nathan Richardson is an African-American poet and author. Nathan Richardson historical impression of American statesman, writer, orator, abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass was mesmerizing.
I was completely awestruck when I first met Nathan Richardson. I simply could not believe that I was sitting in the front row of a huge hall room and Nathan Richardson is directly staring at me and narrating the life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland in 1818 and after his escape to New York in 1838 became one of the most famous men in nineteenth-century America. Douglass fought to end slavery and championed civil rights for all Americans. His autobiography, published in 1845, was a powerful weapon in the abolitionist cause and a bestseller in the United States.
Nathan Richardson is a brilliantly eloquent speaker. His presence is very dynamic. Nathan Richardson really knows how to inflect his voice to convey emotions. Frederick’s brutal experience of slavery really resonated within me as I have witnessed slavery back in Bangladesh. It is 2018 and slavery is still legal and a norm in third world countries. Maids, rickshaw pullers, construction workers and other low wage workers are treated brutally and have little to no pay. I have vivid memories of watching slaves being beaten back home and Nathan narrations of slavery brought back all the unpleasant memories I have filed somewhere in my brain. I told myself that I will tell Nathan personally that slavery is still legal in many other parts of the world after he is done with his narration.
Nathan Richardson introduced who Frederick Douglass was during the first portion of the speech. He then narrated the brutal experience of slavery Frederick Douglass had to endure. Nathan’s narration was very real. I felt like Frederick Douglass himself was narrating his life events at GCC to all of us. Nathan also called a girl from the audience to read a poem. Nathan ended the narration by talking about the future of America and how we must never give up in life. We must always strive for equality and justice. Later, Nathan Richardson took questions from the audience. The audience asked interesting questions. Nathan tried to cut his answers short but the audience kept asking more questions. Nathan Richardson was showered with several rounds of applause. Nathan shared his life experience as well and spoke about his accomplished children. Lastly, Nathan ended his speech by addressing a very important audience question- the present day racism in America. I quickly jumped out of my seat to shake hands with Nathan Richardson before he finds himself surrounded by the crowd. I was the first person to shake hands with him and chat with him one on one. I asked Nathan Richardson several questions about black lives matter and police brutality against unarmed African Americans. Nathan Richardson inspired me never to give up and to fight for racial and immigration justice using my degree in Political Science. I bought a $10 book and I requested for his autobiography. Then, I clicked several photos with him. I was the last student to leave the hall room. I had a long discussion about present-day racism in America and slavery in other parts of the world.
Yes, racism still exists in America. Unarmed African-Americans are shot more often by police than white people and blacks are given long prison sentences for the same crime committed by another white person. Police are more likely to use excessive force on a black person than on a white person. I run the page “Secular America” on most social media platform and I hope to start my YouTube channel very soon while I pursue my healthcare major in college. I want my YouTube channel to be an affiliate of the progressive, left-leaning media “The Young Turks“.
I am willing to fight discrimination whenever and wherever I encounter it. Overall, I left the event feeling more inspired than ever!