HATTIESBURG – Dr. Eddie Holloway challenged Pearl River Community College students to build on the legacy of those who are celebrated during Black History Month.Holloway, dean of students at the University of Southern Mississippi, was the speaker Tuesday, Feb. 14, for the annual observance at PRCC Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg.He paid tribute to notable African-Americans, including Dr. Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois and Dr. Martin Luther King, and urged the students to follow in their footsteps as leaders.We need your talents, he said. Your work is needed. In this audience sit the cures to the ills of our society.Holloway listed important events in the history of African-Americans in the United States, from the Dred Scott decision denying slaves citizenship in 1857 to the election of President Barack Obama in 2008.We have to celebrate those who blazed the way, he said. We give homage to those who made sacrifices.Holloway remarks brought a fresh understanding, said student Tiffany Jensen of Dixie.It fills us in and let us know what our country has gone through and the importance, she said. The speaker was wonderful and wise in the words he used.The African-American community still faces sorrows, Holloway said. He cited numerous examples, including 40 percent of black students become drop-outs, and high percentages of youth court and prison populations are black.Holloway challenged students of all races to complete their education and be among those celebrated by future generations.I challenge you to map out your plans of excellence, he said. I challenge you to step up to the plate and take a whack at it. I challenge you to get rid of your excuses. I challenge you to be persistent, have tenacity.Tuesday program marked the sixth annual Black History Month Observance at the Forrest County Center. It is a joint project of the social sciences department and the PRCC History and Humanities Club.The program included a performance by The Voices, 12 PRCC students selected by audition for the elite ensemble.
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