JSU Professor Lackey Speaks During CCC Cultural Awareness Week
CLARKSDALE – The goal of recognizing Coahoma Community College’s history and celebrating its future during this week’s Cultural Awareness Week activities was emphasized during a lunch lecture hosted Tuesday in the Zee A. Barron Student Union featuring Associate Professor of Urban Education, History and Geography at Jackson State University, Dr. Hillard Lackey, III.
Lackey is a native of Quitman County and holds bachelors, masters, and education specialist degrees from Jackson State University and also attended the University of Arkansas and the University of Mississippi where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education. He has worked in higher education as a faculty member and administrator and has been recognized for his outstanding efforts as a recruiter for Jackson State University. Lackey is the author of several books including “Marks, Martin and the Mule Train”, “Mining Delta Minds”, “Storm Splitter”, “WWJD and Puppy Love in a Rosenwald School”, and “Raising Geniuses”.
“He is probably one of our most famous Quitman Countians. He’s a tall giant not only in this community, but in the state and perhaps the nation,” remarked CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner. “I’ve always been impressed with him from afar. He has this magnetism about him, and young people in particular are just drawn to Dr. Lackey.”
Lackey’s lecture was based on the topic, “The Promise Day Has Come: The Way We Were and How We Got Over”. Accompanied by a power point presentation, he laid the foundation for his speech by tracing the history of humans to Africa. He then gave the audience a crash-course on the history of African Americans from slavery to present-day in an effort to answer the questions he said he struggled with as a youth.
“Sometimes when we are young we ask the questions ‘Who am I? What is my purpose?’…When I was young I asked God three questions, ‘Why was I born poor? Why am I in Mississippi? And, why am I black?’” Lackey said. “I went to school in search of these answers—to learn and to better myself.”
Citing his own life as an example, Lackey then explained how history should motivate everyone to try their hardest each day.
“My parents worked hard all year as sharecroppers only to receive $50 at the end of the year,” he said. “Experiencing that will make you go to class in the rain. It’ll make you stay up all night studying.”
Lackey concluded that one must first understand their past and plan for their future accordingly.
“Sometimes when you go forward, you have to look backwards,” he said. “ That’s why I applaud youngsters who can look over the horizon and say ‘This is where I’m going because I know where I can from—I know who I am, and I know where I’m going.’”
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