Friday, February 10, 2012

Hometown Blogger Sparks Discussion At Trenton Library

TRENTON-- Marcus Garvey once said that a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. It was in this tradition that area residents and activists alike met at the Trenton Public Library Wednesday night for Anwar's Reflections First Ever Black History Panel Discussion.

During the nearly two hour discussion, a variety of topics were explored and addressed. Members of the audience were invited to ask questions as well.

From education to black leadership, to President Obama and social problems afflicting communities in Black America, the panel covered a lot of ground.

Panel members included hip hop artist Big OOH, businessman Tracey Syphax, New Black Panther Party spokesman Divine Allah, Garvey School principal Baye Kemit, community activist Darren 'Freedom' Green, and Today's News NJ's Daryl Brooks.

Baye Kemit said that leadership does not have to be monolithic, it does not have to be one person, our leaders are our parents and grandparents. Darren Freedom Green said that President Barack Obama needs to 'stand up and just be a man on some issues' as it relates to problems afflicting the black community. In his analysis of President Obama, Daryl Brooks said that the president has bailed out Wall Street but failed to mention the word poverty in any of his State of the Union speeches.

As a blogger or citizen journalist, I thought it was important to carry on the tradition of the words of the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, by inviting a variety of different community leaders and activists to come to the table and have a discussion that would illustrate the diversity of Black America on a local level here in Trenton, New Jersey.

As a viewer and reader, I invite you to determine if the discussion reached that goal.

Please see footage of the event below:


  1. I watched the panel discussion with great interest. The discussion was lively and informative and reflected a variety of perspectives that are thought provoking. The challenges are many. I wish I had the solutions. These dedicated activists definitely are making every effort to help improve the quality of life in the Trenton community. I'm going to watch the video again. So many topics were explored and I want to let it all sink in. Thanks to you Anwar and to all the speakers for their hard work and dedication.

    1. Anonymous Reader,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I wanted to really bring diverse minds to the table and have a solid conversation. Looking back in hindsight, I should have had a female on the panel, I think that would have enhanced the discussion considerably. All in all, thank you for your comment.