Claflin remembers, honors MLK

Jan 27, 2020

Dr. Anthony Broughton speaks at the MLK ceremony. (Claflin University)

Build your own greatness, speaker says


Claflin students can follow the example of Martin Luther King Jr. in a march toward greatness, a university professor said.

Dr. Anthony Broughton, professor of education, spoke Jan. 16 in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center at a ceremony remembering the slain civil rights leader ahead of the MLK holiday on Jan. 20. He emphasized the importance of reaching one's highest potential.

“You are here to be great,” Broughton said. “Do not get distracted by negativity that hinders your productivity."

“You came to Claflin to tap into the visionary that is sitting inside of you,” he said. “Part of your purpose is to change the world.”

Broughton challenged students to ask themselves, “What would be my legacy?”

“We’re making money moves but also making change moves, moves of justice, peace, equality, equity,” Broughton said.

Broughton cited the hard work of black ancestors such as King.

"Don't allow anyone or anything to stop you from achieving your highest potential because your ancestors fought hard for you to be greater than mediocre," Broughton said.

“It was their blood, sweat and tears that allowed us the basic right to vote, read and be educated," Broughton said. "We drip because they dripped blood."

College is the time to weigh what your legacy and contribution will be, he said.

“It begins with what you do now," Broughton said. "What does your resume look like today?"

“Secure a career but not only secure the career but advance yourself through in the career so that you can move the movement forward,” he said.

'Someone bled for your drip'


 Claflin University sophomores were encouraged to change the world at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration on Jan. 16.

 The sophomores gathered for the regular assembly in W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center, this time in honor of King.

 Konist Davis-Johnson, coordinator of academic student activities, opened the celebration by reminding students of just how recent King’s work took place.

 “I was a child when Dr. King came to my city to march,” Davis-Johnson recalled to the crowd. “I remember my father telling me that when I was born he had to pick up my baby food from the back door of the store. ... You all don’t have to do that anymore and you should be grateful.”

 She also implored students to be productive during the holiday.

 “Don’t take that day as a day off, take it as a day of service," she said.

 The speaker of the hour, Claflin education professor Dr. Anthony Broughton, used an approach of sometime cringe-worthy pop culture references to encourage the students and remind them that “[they] are called to be great.”

 Using quotes from Cardi B. Kendrick Lamar and Da Baby, Broughton called the audience to consider their ancestors and the legacy they plan to leave.

'I didn't come to play'


He cited the past in issuing challenges for the future.

Claflin’s Dr. Anthony Broughton of the School of Education spoke at the Martin Luther King Jr. ceremony and celebration on Jan. 16 in the W.V Middleton Fine Arts Center.

“Black history is not a month, it's every day," Broughton said. "Black excellence is who I am and I didn't come to play.”

Broughton cited key points about commemorating King's life and legacy.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, who is not just an incredible man, but a man of ... service and excellence,” he said. “So while we pause to commemorate his legacy over the next few days, I want to pause and I want you to ask yourself, 'What will be my legacy, what will be your contribution to history?'”

Broughton put matters in the daily perspective of students.

“Dr. King was a boss and a working bee making bloody moves, risking his life for our freedom,”  Broughton said. “What if Martin complained all day making Facebook posts and Instagram posts, talking about issues but doing nothing about them? What if he snapped all day on Snapchat about bringing change. Where would we be?”

“Don’t get it twisted. The reason you drip too hard is because someone fought for your drip, your ancestors paved the way so that you can have the honor and the privilege to look, walk and talk like you do," he said.

“We drip because they dripped with blood. It was their blood, sweat and tears that got us our basic right to vote, read and be educated.”

“Cardi B once said, 'I was born to flex.' You see, you can flex but you have to know why you flex,” he said.

Broughton spoke of King's target points of history:

-- Faith without works is dead. You get out what you put in and if you put in nothing, you will get nothing. Put your money where your mouth is and put your actions where your mouth is. Put your feet where your mouth is and move forward to achieve your goals.

-- There is no time to play because we are on money moves, but we are also making change moves. Moves of justice, peace,equality and equity. Why? Because our people deserve it.

“You came to Claflin to tap into that visionary leader sitting on the inside of you and to develop the necessary skills to fulfill your purpose and ... that purpose is to change the world.” Broughton said. “For years to come, will you look back and say that you lived a good life,that you served the community, that you made a contribution to the movement?"

Broughton challenged students to know history and remember it in having their own impact.

“This country was built on our backs, from our hands, it was our work and persistence that got us thus far and we still have work to get done.”

 “Someone bled for your drip. We drip because they dripped with blood.” He declared. “Ask yourself ‘what kind of ancestor will [I] be?’”

 After more anecdotes and references to dated rap songs, Broughton closed with a final push to the sophomore class.

 “Get woke and stay woke and take your education seriously.”

 The celebration also featured a newly formed vocal quintet, “The Sophomore Five,”  which performed two numbers on the program.

Section Navigation
Support the next generation of Claflin Leaders
Your support provides educational enrichment through student scholarships, loan funds, instructional classroom equipment, preparing Claflin's students to be leaders of the future.