Evanston Hosted a Black Male Summit to Inspire Students



That is the one word that drove the Black Male Summit held on Friday, Sept. 26.


“There are specific challenges in society that some young black men face that are very unique to black men,” said Dr. Kamasi Hill. “However, specifically when it comes to issues around the achievement gap, apathy, certain forms of violence, and internal violence, in addition to police brutality, those things are very specific to the lives of many young African American men,” added Hill.


The day started with Principal Marcus Campbell welcoming students and telling everyone his goals and purpose for the day. Senior Mark Daniel Shelton then gave a speech that students reported also moved the crowd.

His speech introduced the special guest speaker, Calvin Mackie, and how he found success as a black male. Shelton also told the audience other success stories of black men who have found wealth and success, whether in money or in other forms of wealth.


Mackie is an award-winning motivational speaker and mentor. He challenged the audience to think of why they chose to attend the summit.


“You may be sitting here wondering why this is necessary. By the end of the day we hope you know why this is necessary,” said Mackie.


“The summit is really helpful for black males who don’t know what path to follow yet. They can see really successful black males in person, so young men can actually have hope to be just as successful in the future,” said Rabang Phillips, junior.


“The purpose of the summit was threefold,” said Hill. “ Number one was to inspire young men, number two was to rally the community, and number three, and I think the most important purpose, was to continue to follow up.”

The summit gave students mentors and assurance that they have a school that wants them to succeed, both at ETHS and beyond. Hill said they wanted to see a change being made in the school within the black male community. He is committed to seeing a positive change in the young male community as a whole.


“Considering the oppression of the black male in America, there can be no greater triumph than for us as a people to come together and unanimously choose to succeed,” said Shelton.

The last item on the agenda was a speech from Dr. Hill challenging students to ask themselves who they are and what they’re suppose to do with their lives.


The day ended with a panel discussion. The panel of five people, Mackie, Kenneth Cherry, Pastor at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church, Chris Reynolds, Northwestern Athletic Director, John Fuller, Vice President of the Evanston NAACP branch as well as an entrepreneur, and Steven Speight, ETHS chemistry teacher, answered students’ questions.


Mackie and Hill discussed how many people think that they’re always angry. However, what they helped students realize is that they’re not angry, they’re just passionate, and that every student needs to find something they’re passionate about as well. Mackie added, “No one is planning your future for you. You have to help yourself because no one else is going to. Your future is in your hands. What are you going to do with it?”