History scholar Dr. Yohuru Williams visited St. Francis College last week to speak about the Black Lives Matter movement, focusing on how it should not only concern African Americans, but the entire country.

Williams — – author, history professor and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University – talked about how the movement began after the 13th Amendment and said that democracy in America has failed.

He pointed out that the Black Panthers wanted freedom for the people in America and Thomas Jefferson said he wanted the same for the country in the U.S. Constitution.

Williams also expressed his anger about the problem that poverty has become and how difficult it now is to solve.

“Poverty should be an easier issue to be solved,” he told the audience.

He also brought up the fact that people are focused on media, stars and themselves, but not on bettering their community.

Teenagers often pay so much attention to what is cool entertainment wise that they forget that something is wrong with the democratic system in this country, Williams said.

He also said that people are protesting around the world because they think it is a cool thing, but that protest without a goal only brings anger and violence.

If protests are the only thing that continues to happen, future generations will experience the same thing, Williams told the audience.

Williams quoted Frederick Douglas saying: “African Americans want to just be left alone, let them go to school, if they fall, give them a chance to get back on their feet.”

STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) was also addressed during the lecture. Williams said that schools teach us that this is the only thing that is important, but that there are other things of the same or of more importance.

He believes we need more social services, more people that focus on helping their communities and law enforcement that works for the people and protects them instead of killing them.

He thinks we need more teachers to help educate the community, which was one of the goals of the Black Panthers. There needs to be more involvement in what the leaders of America are doing to help, Williams said.

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