Speakers commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.



Audience members watch as Ibram X. Kendi discusses late Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideology at WSU's 32nd annual MLK Community Celebration on Thursday in the CUB Senior Ballroom.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

The 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration featured Ibram X. Kendi and a campus civic poet honoree on Jan. 17 at the CUB Senior Ballroom.

Kendi, the keynote speaker, said there is a difference between racial progress and racist progress.

“The only thing wrong with black people is that they think something is wrong with black people,” he said.

Kendi also referred to Malcolm X during his speech.

“Fools try to ignore facts, but wise men must face facts to remain wise,” he said. “Fools refuse to change from their silly ways and beliefs, but the mental flexibility of the wise man permits him to keep an opened mind.”

Veronica Sandoval, the campus civic poet honoree, is a doctoral candidate at WSU’s School of Languages, Cultures and Race, said Donna Potts, WSU’s English department chair.

Potts said Sandoval is a spoken-word artist from Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Sandoval’s poetry appeared in online publications and in several anthologies.

Sandoval said she wrote a poem last year during the summer to protest against the Texas Board of Education, who attempted to change the name of a newly-formed standardized Mexican-American high school history course.

“Institutional powers fear communities that refuse to appease the status quo,” she said in her poem. “Institutional powers fear communities who resist.”

God’s Harmony Gospel Choir ended the event by singing the Black National Anthem.

The choir also sang another song about the struggle of African-Americans who continue to fight for racial equality.

Krimson Kouture dedicated their dance to the remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.