Public discussion on Black Liberation and the struggles African Americans still face today

Local News

“Our people have been resisting, fighting, organizing, pushing, clawing, scratching and working toward black liberation.”

A crowded room learning about the African American heritage rich in the Gainsboro neighborhood.

“We’re in a library right now surrounded by books and information but very often this information is not being taught in the public school system It’s not being taught in our families. It’s not being taught in our neighborhoods,” said Lamont Lilly, activist.

Some say the struggles of African Americans in this country are not highlighted enough in our children’s education.

“Black History Month is not just for black folk, it’s really American history and our contributions have contributed to a great deal, a great deal to the development of this country and the fabric of this society,” said Lamont Lilly, activist.

“Black history is all through the year and it’s history of America. It’s American history of the black man and his struggles in this country,” said George Riles “Coach Jelly”, who lives in Roanoke.

George Riles or better known as Coach Jelly teaches our youth about sports and works with kids to keep them off the streets.

He says his training doesn’t just stop on the court or on the field.

“You train them like a tree basically through education through life coaching like I said,” said George Riles “Coach Jelly”, who lives in Roanoke.

Coach Jelly says public meetings like this one help educate people about the needs in our community.

“They bring folks together to have tough conversations sometimes they might be a little uncomfortable, sometimes you might disagree with someone’s perspective or what they have to say, but that’s the only way that we really are able to learn from each other,” said Lamont Lilly, activist.

Those who organized the event say they would like to have more public discussions in the future to learn about the struggles people have to try and make the area a better place. 

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