By Shuhrah Chowdhury
On Tuesday, February 9, the president of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Atiya Harley, an Engineering Technology major, held a Socratic seminar-esque event called #NSBEHonest, where members of the organization wrote hashtagged topics relating to being Black American students in this day and age. The topics were drawn from a bowl, thus opening conversations for people to share ideas.
One of the topics that spurred a huge conversation was the movement Black Lives Matter vs Black on Black crime. The member who wrote the topic, Donnielle Minor, participated in multiple stop violence protests and discussed how, although there is more media on police brutality, there isn’t the same amount of care and publicity on black on black crime. “It’s ridiculous how we’re trying to participate or promote a positive thing but have someone debunk it,” she states.
One student brought up war and questioned whether or not we should have a military anymore, which lead to a stream of comments about how “weapons make nations have power” and that war is in the agenda of the government, not the middle class and poor.
Another topic that was brought up was gentrification and the community. People were distressed about how the family dynamic has changed since the 1960s, when close-knit families and a sense of community were the norms. However, since the introduction of drugs in the poor neighborhoods and the lack of security in said areas, the filial mentality shifted to one where single parent families make up the majority of homes. With white businesses renovating downtown by buying out black family owned businesses, the people are pushed in too close proximity without a place to grow. One student said ,“Plants can’t grow next to each other because they need natural space so they don’t take each other’s resources. People are like that too, that we need space to grow without competing with each other.”
The discussion really opened the curtains that overshadowed Black issues that need to be addressed. Events like this show the community how important it is to understand and discuss problems within the direct community and as a nation.