Local News

Students Debate Affirmative Action

Posted January 16, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— Teen talk is not all clothes and school. Students are thinking about the future and their place in it. Thursday, on the anniversary of Doctor Martin Luther King Junior's birth, affirmative action was the topic of discussion.

Students from Broughton, Sanderson, Enloe, and Southeast Raleigh met with one common goal: to open up dialogue about affirmative action and to dispel all the myths.

The high school students spent part of their night in a crowded room of First Baptist Church ,with adults looking on, as they discussed both sides of the controversial issue.

Organizer Bridgette Rasberry calls affirmative action a very highly debatable, highly emotional subject that's being talked about out nationwide. Thursday's discussion mirrors efforts made during the civil rights movement of the 60's.

When Doctor Martin Luther King began the civil rights movement, Shaw University was one of his starting points. King led marchers from Shaw to downtown Raleigh as part of a civil rights rally. Doctor Willie High was an instructor at Shaw at the time.

High says being a part of history and standing in the place where the rally had once taken place is something she will always remember.

Years later, the battle over civil rights in society continues.

"One of the things Martin Luther King did was to get people talking," ... explains, "to get people moving towards change. This is a positive way to do that."

By having a discussion about affirmative action, organizers feel an environment of understanding will be fostered between the races, instead of hostility.