Chancellor Clark, Franklin tackle a sensitive subject
Chancellor Larry Clark hosted a seminar to address the racial issues that have plagued this nation. The seminar took place Monday, Oct. 10, 2016 and was titled “Society Disclosure: We are Better Together”.
Chancellor Clark spoke about past events that have impacted Shreveport, La. A Cedar Grove riot that took place in 1988 was the spotlighted example. The incident embodied discontent in the African-American community following the murder of an African-American man committed by a Caucasian woman. Clark showed file footage from the incident to demonstrate how destructive the riot was.
“What do the story of slaves have to do with race relations today? Everything,” Clark said.
He informed the students that the past was indeed messy. He also noted that the world is not close to “coming to terms with” racism.
Dr. Kenna Franklin also spoke of historical examples of discrimination during the seminar. She highlighted an incident in 1838, in which Georgetown University sold slaves to a man in New Orleans. 272 slaves were dispersed to three different plantations in Louisiana. What happened to these slaves following the transaction remains unknown.
“I hope some of you [students] in northern Louisiana are trying to engage in genealogy projects to see if you are related in anyway with that slave trail,” Franklin said. She clarified that Georgetown University was not the only university that had sold slaves when they were in need of money.
Franklin also offered advice to students on how to approach a story that talks about a racist issue.
“But how do you deal with the impact of such stories and such racial content?” Franklin said. “What I have done is that I have mentally created a tool kit of skills that help me process what is, what was and what will be happening in our society.”
The presentation concluded with an open panel consisting of both Clark and Franklin. They openly answered the questions that the students had about the presented topic.