Written by Kristen Davis. Media by Stephen Hillrich.
On February 12th, Greenville College hosted “A Biblical Response Towards Race Reconciliation: A Conversation featuring Dr. John M. Perkins, John P. Perkins and The Greenville Community” and the showing of “Selma” at the Globe Theatre in Greenville. The event was represented by Mosaic Student Association, a student run club that focuses on raising awareness and acceptance of different ethnicities and cultures.
The movie “Selma” was chosen in efforts to help raise more discussion about what our society used to be like and how we have evolved now, or if we have evolved. The movie focuses on capturing the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he and his family went through in effort to end racial discrimination and bring about justice. The discussions held were interesting and very insightful. Student’s responded in such a passionate way. Those who did not voice their opinions in regards to racial prejudice had opportunity during the open question segment of the discussion to speak up. Dr. Perkins created an atmosphere in which students and the community felt as though they could approach him and discuss the difficult topics.
One student brought up the subject of the shooting in Ferguson and asked how, regardless of our opinion on the situation, we could work towards bettering our society and ending the violence between races. To summarize, Dr. Perkins responded by stressing the idea of forming churches in places that need it the most, praying continuously for this specific topic, and having discussions like the ones we had with him. He told us it was the starting point to making a change. It’s so easy to turn our heads and ignore the violence that is occurring. Whether we believe it or not, racism is still alive and real. We see it in movies; we hear it in music; it’s even as subtle as a look exchanged between two people.
Here at Greenville College, we promote the idea of building community. How can we do that if racism is active on our campus? I can honestly say, I have not seen many examples of racism shown here at Greenville College. However, this statement should challenge and encourage us to push for a change in our society and we may behave and view others. We should strive to make a difference in our world. Movies, such as “Selma”, have challenged us as individuals to think further into concepts that may not make sense to use. It helps us visualize and understand the amount of trauma that actually occurred in our history and still occurs today to some extent. Our society uses film to address issues in a more interesting matter. As technology and media advances in our society, we are able to interpret events through film in a new way to get our messages across more directly. “Selma” is only one of many media pieces that has addressed racial issues in our society. Other films are still being developed, which will address other hard topics in our world.