Delivering a fiery speech at the H.I.S. BET Town Hall Meeting in Atlanta on September 19, Dr. David Wall Rice urged the students at Morehouse College to understand that despite lingering effects of generations of racism and discrimination against African-Americans, Black men are not powerless.
“We operate within white supremacist structure. It becomes important for us to say that hegemony exists, where our culture is not valued. Black men, Black women. Brown men, brown women. We’re not who is important in this culture,” Rice, who is department chair and associate professor of psychology at Morehouse College, tells H.I.S. BET.
”Recognize that patriarchy exists. Recognize that we as men have a certain amount of power. And once we educate ourselves in those spaces, it becomes our responsibility, because we have knowledge, to apply that knowledge to the liberation, the breaking of physical and psychological shackles.”
Asked what message he would want a young teen to take away from the day’s panel discussion, he says, “That we are successes as Black men. The people who were on stage are part of the young brother who is in the community, and we recognize that and we take that seriously. So one of the things that becomes important is again to look at that strand of community that connects all of us and to make sure they see us, as different and as diverse as we are, as part and as an extension of them. And we’ll continue to do work on their behalf.”
(Photo: Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)