Former President Addresses Students During Black History Program
CLARKSDALE — Former Coahoma Community College President Dr. McKinley C. Martin was the special guest speaker Wednesday afternoon during Coahoma Agricultural High School’s Black History Program held at the Pinnacle.
A graduate himself of CAHS, as well as CCC, Dr. Martin spoke to students, faculty and alumni about the high school’s 90-year journey from its inception in 1914 through today. He relayed the hard truth that in the early days of the school’s history, many black students were sent to school on the assumption that with a little education they would become better farmhands. He detailed the school’s and the local area’s rich educational history and spoke about benchmarks and local educational heroes.
Martin also gave some words of wisdom for students to take home to their parents dealing with the political arena that also served as watchwords for the students themselves in the near future. Urging them to voice their opinions and to stand up and be heard.
“I want you to take this home to your momma and them … when the election season comes around, you are always going to have politicians who want to tell you their agendas,” he said. “You need to tell them that you don’t want to hear their agendas, you want them to listen to yours.”
Martin’s own message was filled with hope about the future for current Aggie students, while reminding them of the many shoulders they are currently standing on of local educational pioneers that helped get students bussed to school, helped build the Coahoma campus and fought for equality in education.
The former president was joined at the podium by current Aggie Principal Sonya-Debose –Taylor following his address and presented with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of service to both the college and the high school. Mixed in with other speakers including current CCC President and CAHS Superintendent Dr. Valmadge Towner, and former Aggie Principal Dr. I.D. Thompson, were performances by the Coahoma choir.
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