Dr. Robert Luckett, director of the Margaret Walker Center, will participate in an “Equality, Identity and Hope: Race in America” panel hosted by Comcast Newsmakers| Voices of the Civil Rights Movement program on Sept. 9 at 7:30 pm. The panel discussion will stream on Comcast Newsmakers and Voices of the Civil Rights Movement Facebook page and YouTube channel. It will later be available on Xfinity on Demand, Instagram, Twitter, and ComcastNewsmaker.com.
“The power of history is not so much what happened in the past but how we interpret what happened in the past and how that interpretation informs our present identity as individuals and a society,” said Luckett, also a professor of history at Jackson State University. “The resurgence of activist movements in America today has the potential to reshape our identity in the name of social justice, civil rights, and human dignity, but, learning from our history, we should remember the resiliency of white supremacy and its capacity to derail such movements.”
The panel will be hosted by Tetiana Anderson, journalist, and include civil rights activists Zellie Imani and Kenneth B. Morris Jr.
Anderson is the host for the national edition of Comcast Newsmakers and had dedicated her career to delivering award-winning news and features to viewers, readers and listeners around the world. Her work has appeared on the likes of NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, Voice of America, Vatican Radio, among others.
Imani is a third-grade teacher from Paterson, New Jersey. Considered a pillar in his community, Imani is co-founder of the Black Liberation Collective, leader of Black Lives Matter Paterson, and has helped launched literacy programs Books and Breakfast and Noir Reads.
Morris Jr. is the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. He is co-founder and president of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, continuing his ancestors’ work in anti-slavery, anti-racism, education, and implementing innovative ways to address these persistent issues.
A native Mississippian, Luckett is an advisory board member for the Mississippi Book Festival and serves as vice president of the Board of Directors of Common Cause Mississippi and as secretary of the Board for the Association of African American Museums. In 2017, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba appointed Luckett to the Board of Trustees of Jackson Public Schools, and, in 2018, he received a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship for his work in racial equity.
As a result of his work as a civil rights historian at JSU, Luckett said requests for his participation in conversations about the history of social justice in America movements have increased, especially after the 50th commemoration of the Jackson State police shootings amid the recent murder of George Floyd.
“I am particularly proud of the opportunity to represent the Jackson State community on this Voices of the Civil Rights Movement program with such an esteemed panel through Comcast NBC Universal,” he said.