Marshall University’s Drinko Academy presented the inaugural Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lecture Thursday in the Memorial Student Center’s Shawkey Room.
Bishop Samuel Moore, pastor of the Full Gospel Assembly in Huntington, delivered the lecture, which was titled “The Deceitfulness of Difference.”
Moore, a Marshall graduate who has conducted race relations workshops for Cabell County Schools, said his lecture was intended to identify the misconceptions among races.
“A lot of times, we tend to see what we want to see, what we’re programmed to see,” Moore said.
Moore, who is a former president of the Huntington-Cabell NAACP, said one thing he has grown to appreciate is a child’s naivety regarding the difference between races.
“The Bible says this: ‘Except ye become as little children, you can’t enter into the kingdom.’ So, there are some things about a child’s innocence that I think we need to draw from; we need to hold onto. If we allow the children to be children, they’ll get along.”
Moore said he hopes the college students who were in attendance use their influence to improve race relations in the community as well as wherever their respective careers may lead them.
“We need them to try to break down barriers, not get caught up in the differences but see how much similar we actually are with one another,” Moore said.
Moore said it was a privilege to deliver the first Woodson lecture due to his respect and appreciation for the man known as the “Father of Black History.”
“I did not know about Carter G. Woodson until I was grown,” Moore said. “And to be able to come and speak on a Carter G. Woodson symposium and to honor his desire and his life mission to further equality among people was just an honor.”
Marshall President Dr. Jerome Gilbert, who grew up in Jackson, Mississippi during segregation, said race relations was something he noticed even as a child.
“We didn’t know any better at that time, unfortunately,” said Gilbert who addressed the crowd Thursday before Moore took the podium. “But we did know something was wrong with the society in which we lived.”
Gilbert said while race relations have improved over the years, he believes things can and will continue to get better.
“We should not be complacent,” Gilbert said. “We have to continue Dr. Woodson’s work.”
Malcolm Walton can be contacted at [email protected]