State representative talks with student journalists


State Rep. George Brown, D-Lexington, talks to journalism students on the general assembly (photo submitted).

Jonnae Harris, Faculty and Administration Beat

FRANKFORT, Ky. – State Rep. George Brown Jr., D-Lexington, spoke with journalism students recently, and expressed the intrinsic value and the power of historically Black colleges.

HBCUs are unique individually, he told the students in a public affairs reporting class, and are all historic. Brown, an alumnus of Tennessee State University, mentioned three main factors as to why they are so important: community, culture and covenant.

Community plays a strong role for students at the universities, which not only educate them but create and shape countless leaders of the world by creating a community of support around them.

Culture is the on-campus environment that allows HBCUs to be unapologetically proud of all they are and how far Black Americans have come, to enhance and appreciate the legacy that ancestors paved the way for. Despite the odds, Black ancestors were resilient, he said.

The covenant exists between the resilient ancestors who came before and the students of today.

“Ancestors knew education was the only way up and out,” Brown said. “Education is one thing no one can take away from you. Our ancestors lead the way, and we shall continue the legacy of greatness.”

Brown also told students that HBCUs remain more relevant than ever and are essential to advancing the nation. For this reason, he told students to use their voice to vote.

“Your vote is your way of letting people know you care about how [tax] money is being spent,” he said.

In response to a question, Brown, who is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., said while fraternity membership has strong social benefits, it won’t automatically help members get jobs after graduation.