Reverend visits UT, discusses Ferguson, Palestine

Monday, March 23, author, activist and University of Tennessee alum Reverend Osagyefo Sekou hosted a talk in the International House Great room.

Monday, March 23, author, activist and University of Tennessee alum Reverend Osagyefo Sekou hosted a talk in the International House Great room. Sekou has spoken and studied at universities such as Stanford and Harvard. He now organizes and works with local and national groups for protesting and training in nonviolent civil disobedience.

Sekou has been active in the the on-going struggles in Ferguson as well as Palestine and spoke about his experiences in both places and how they are parallel.

According to Reverend Sekou, the struggles with authority in Palestine and Ferguson are similar. Sekou said the same company, based in Pennsylvania, who provides tear gas used in Ferguson is the same company providing tear gas for the Palestinian government.

“The beast we are struggling with is global beast,” Sekou said.

Sekou said this is not just a local problem; it is an issue worldwide. He said it is not just a matter of black versus white, but a matter of just and unjust. Sekou called Ferguson “America’s Nazareth,” saying the world is watching and questioning if anything good can come of it.

Sekou said resistance is the only way to start to reverse this issue, but not violent resistance: people must resist with joy and pleasure. Sekou also said it will be everyday people that will lead this movement.

“We don’t need allies. We need freedom fighters,” Sekou said.

Sekou said he  is able to connect so well with the people is because he “gets down and dirty” with the common people. Sekou said he puts himself in their position, presents himself as laid back and down-to-earth and the people relate to him.

Sekou also spoke at a meeting Tuesday, March 24, at Mt. Zion Baptist church.  There will also be a “call-to-action” meeting Thursday, March 26, at EB Davidson center for the black lives matter movement and other upcoming events.

Sekou will be in Stanford next week speaking on Ferguson, religion, Israel, education and more.

Edited by Courtney Anderson

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