Speaker highlights African-American contributions to Midwest

Dr. Robert Bryd was a special guest speaker at Mid-Plain Community College, he shared the importance of the past and how it relates to the present.

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -The third Monday in January is set aside to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to service in communities and his contributions to society. On Jan. 17, Mid-Plain Community College brought in guest speaker, Dr. Robert Bryd to share the importance of the past and how it relates to the present.

“I have the knowledge because the stories have been shared with me,” said Dr. Robert Bryd, chairman of Wyoming’s U.S. Commission on Civil Rights advisory. “It is nice to share those stories with the next generation. Sometimes the full story is not written in books or depicted correctly on movie screens. We, as storytellers, tell it how it was.”

Dr. Bryd’s presentation focused on the motives and dreams of people of color who migrated across the U.S. during the Westward Expansion.

“We talk about how people of color and the country developed after the emancipation proclamation,” said Dr. Bryd. “As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said ‘I have a dream,’ they had dreams, too.”

According to the National Museum of African-American history and culture, Martin Luther King Jr. day is the only federal holiday designated as a day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their communities.

“It is important to have members of the community realize and understand that Dr. King was fighting for the rights of all Americans, not just those of people of color,” said Quinton Jackson, Assistant Director of Diversity Inclusive of Student Life at Mid-Plains Community College.

With next month being Black History Month, Mid-Plains Community College hopes to host more cultural events and guest speakers.