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Rockford College Takes A Walk Through Black History

Monday, February 09, 2009  
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Posted: 6:19 PM Feb 9, 2009
Last Updated: 7:41 PM Feb 9, 2009
Reporter: Tyaisha Robinson

It's a first in our nation's history, and African America President and that certainly is the highlight of this year's black history month. But, what about the history that came before President Obama? A walk through the Civil Rights Movement at Rockford College helps lead us from the past into the future.

"It's really different, I mean we have a black president, that's exciting," said Danyelle Perry.

A refreshing and optimistic energy surrounds our Nation's 44Th President. Mr. Obama's journey to the White House has uplifted the African American community, and added new meaning to Black History Month.

"They ask you what you want to be when you grow up? I want to be president and everybody laugh. They say don't you want to be a fireman or police officer. But, look we can do anything," said Coree Blackful who's thrilled to Mr.Obama in the White House.

But, it was the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement, that helped knock down doors to end segregation. A walk through the civil rights display at Rockford Colleges takes us back to a time when African American were denied political, economic, educational, and social equality. So to fast forward nearly 60 years, from Dr. Kings Dream, to President Obama's wave of change is a dream realized.

The creative force behind the tour, Michelle Griggs describes the change in American history as quite amazing.

"The dream that the content of your character will be the first thing people see, rather than your color. The dream that people of color will be able to hold the highest office in the land, which is where we are today with President Barack Obama," said Griggs.

People across the country are celebrating the shattering of the racial glass ceiling and embracing the idea that African Americans won't be viewed as just minorities, but as people who make a difference.
"Barack Obama is like our prays and our dreams, because black men, including myself never thought in today's society we'll have a black president," said Randon Williams.

Meanwhile, others remain optimistic about the future. " The future is great, we made great history for President Obama, but his energy and enthusiasm, we have to this momentum and keep building," said Larnell Malone III.

If you like to take your family on a walk through history, you're welcomed to do so. The display is open to the public, and is located inside the Burpee building at Rockford College
This story appeared at http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/39338707.html on February 9, 2009.

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