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Building a Better Brotherhood

Building a Better Brotherhood

The St. Sebastian's community gathered in Ward Hall for the annual Black History Month Assembly, "Building a Better Brotherhood," on Monday, February 6. The gathering was filled with powerful words and music.

The assembly began with a welcome from Men with Positive Attitudes President Alex Yang '23 and an opening prayer from Fr. John Arens. Throughout the assembly, music was performed by Mr. Meyer Chambers on piano, and Boston College graduates Mr. Joseph Penny on drums, Ms. Lauren Warner on bass guitar, and Mr. Byron Wratee on vocals.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's Speech on the Centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation was read by students Matthew DeAnzeris ‘23, Adric Denis '24, Conor Greaney '27, Jaylen Harrell '25, Jeremiah Johnson '28, and Wachira Njoroge '26.

Faculty members, Mr. Thomas Moriarty and Mr. Trevor McLean, ran a round table discussion with students who recently attended the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference / Student Diversity Leadership Conference, having them discuss their experience and what they learned.

Dr. Malick W. Ghachem, Associate Professor of History at MIT, gave an eloquent keynote address and called on students to get out of their comfort zone to fulfill the mission of “Building a Better Brotherhood.” Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King throughout his presentation, Ghachem leaned heavily on the text from Dr. King’s final book, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” written in 1967. In the book, Dr. King assessed the status of the Civil Rights movement following the legislative success of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the coexistence of the ongoing racial strife and discouragement in the country. Dr. Ghachem implored the students to go beyond the basic opposition of barbaric, overt acts of racism to be an active part of the fulfillment of equality. When Dr. Ghachem acknowledged his dilemma about the challenges of these issues, he said he “feels the weight of what faith can do, if it is marshalled in a tolerant and loving way, and because I see the younger generation such as yourselves willing to take on the racial and economic challenges we face.” 

Thank you to Mr. Meyer Chambers and the members of Men with Positive Attitudes, Mr. Penny, Ms. Warner, Mr. Wratee, and a special thank you to Dr. Ghachem for your message.

View a video recording of students reading Dr. King's speech  ►

View a video recording of Dr. Ghachem's speech  ►