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Author Rochelle Riley discusses the burden of slavery on African Americans

Dr. Michael Simanga and Rochelle Riley holding an open conversation. Photo credit: Brittney Keith

Detroit journalist Rochelle Riley can be described as a notable leader who serves as a voice for children, government, education and race. She wrote The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery and recently held a book signing at the Atlanta Auburn Research Library with cultural activist Dr. Michael Simanga giving a synopsis of her book, and leading an open conversation about slavery, the impact, and a call to action.

Riley’s book works to uncover life after slavery and what it’s like to be an African American living in a world of racial injustice and rising above embedded stigmas and statistics.

At this conversation, author Rochelle Riley discusses how slavery has never disappeared; it has just been changed into a different form over the years.

SCAD student Huston Mccann attended this conversation and shares his definition of what slavery is today.

Some remarkable quotes from this dialogue include:

“We live in a celebrity culture where people worship celebrity activists too. Everyone doesn’t have to be Martin Luther King, or Malcom X or Angela Davis or Ida B. Wells. But you can do something.”  -Dr. Michael Simanga

“I don’t want revenge. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I’m too focused on what we need for our children and to get rid of this criminal problem before the 22nd Century.”- Rochelle Riley

“Contribution is to continue on that march towards being free, which means to be the whole human beings that we are without someone else defining for us what it means to be human.” -Dr. Michael Simanga 

Check out some event photos below:

Photocredit: Brittney Keith