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Love for African Culture Panel Presentations Day 1

Michael Hill, Marcus Watson, Dr. Kush Bhardwaj, Dr. Marck Abraham Dr. Kush Bhardwaj speaking Marcus Watson speaking Michael Hill speaking

McKinley High School

Love for African Culture Panel Presentations Day 1


Panelist 1: Through a thought provoking presentation, Mr. Michael Hill, an affiliate of the Langston Hughes Center of Buffalo New York accentuated the “Power of Love” and the process of overcoming fear to uplift the lives of ourselves as well as those in our community. Likewise, he highlighted the power of music, knowledge, wisdom, and a clear understanding of the past to become successful in our current generation. While placing great focus on the idea that “it takes a village to raise a child”, Mr. Hill engaged our students and staff at McKinley High School in the connection between South African Apartheid, African Diaspora, (mass dispersion of peoples from Africa) and some of the road blocks of modern day society. Mr. Hill certainly grasped our attention here at McKinley High School and it was a pleasure to hear him speak!


Panelist # 2: Mr. Marcus Watson, a well-known professor of Africana Studies at Buffalo State College brought forth a profound presentation to our students and staff at McKinley High School where he spoke on the importance of having knowledge of all parts of American History, with particular emphasis on the black community as being an instrumental component. Mr. Watson articulated very clearly the concept that “a tree without roots cannot stand”, with reference to the importance of truly gaining a deep understanding of cultural roots and heritage in order to embrace in true our identities. While acknowledging various influential individuals including Dr. W.E.D DuBois and Dr. Carter G. Woodson, both graduates from Harvard University, he reminded us of the importance of focusing on the center of voices and culture of the African people. Mr. Watson’s presentation had our McKinley High School family intrigued with his words of wisdom!


Panelist # 3: While grasping the attention of the students and staff at McKinley High School through his charismatic presentation, Dr. Kush Bhardwaj, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Medaille College and longtime scholar of African American studies highlighted the importance of education, motivation, and self-reflection. Through his passionate speech, students and staff became aware of how the negative effects of stereotype impacts our identity. He placed emphasis on the idea that if students don’t take their education seriously, they will become dependent as opposed to independent. While focusing on the importance of college readiness, he brought forth the knowledge that too many students begin college, but fail to finish, and that we must earn college degrees in order to create a well-rounded society. Dr. Bhardwaj’s reflective presentation certainly impacted our audience with insight, and was one we’ll definitely remember!