People don't have adequate power to make needed changes to society, Lawrence Hamm '78, chairman ...
'78 speaks on student activism, civil rights movement
People don't have adequate power to make needed changes to society, Lawrence Hamm '78, chairman of the People's Organization for Progress, a social and economic activism organization, said in a lecture on Tuesday.
"Ultimately, that's what we're struggling for: to empower people," Hamm
Hamm said he began his work as a student activist in Newark in 1971.
"Newark is a key center among several centers for the black liberation movement," Hamm
"Newark had been an apartheid city.
It was a city with a predominantly black population that was controlled by a white power structure."
At the University, where he
was known by the name "Adhimu Chunga," which means "important youth" in Swahili, Hamm
was active in leading student movements, particularly in getting the University to divest from companies with links to apartheid in South Africa.
impact at the University is recounted in the documentary film, "Blacks at Princeton."
also discussed the lesser-known contributions of slaves to the present-day United States.
"The capital that was used to build Princeton and Harvard and Brown
and other universities was from the slave trade," Hamm
"That citadel of democracy, Washington, D.C., was built with slave labor.
Where the leader of the so-called free world sits was built with slave labor."
After watching the film"Selma," some people believe that Jim Crow was only a Southern phenomenon, Hamm
Slavery was as much a part of the North as it was a part of the South, Hamm
"Where Wall Street
is located today in New York City was in fact where the auction block was located," he
Black soldiers in the Union Army
also made important contributions during the Civil War, but they could not be buried in the same cemeteries as white soldiers, Hamm
The number of white supremacist organizations that still exist in the United States is 256, Hamm
The country is in need of a new civil rights movement, Hamm
said in closing.