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I Am a Man. I Am a Black Man. And to be such means I am confronted with the complexities of being both oppressive & the oppressed. Without fear and without filters, we will peel back the layers, assert our humanity, & further explore our identity and what I Am A Man means today.

Trigger warning: Opinions shared during this discussion are those of the individuals participating not of beBATONROUGE or the collective of the participants. Topics that may be sensitive to some audiences (sexual violence )

When it seems like society is against you, as a man you may often wonder “ Am I Not A Man”?

Walter Geno McLaughlin hosted a round table discussion as part of the #BeFearless series for BeBatonRouge and broadcasted it live on Facebook. The discussion centered around the iconic “I Am A Man” imagery from the 1968 sanitation workers strike and touched on the topic of manhood in the various movements for social justice and beyond. The panel features author and activist Donney Rose, Zachary City Council candidate Lael Montgomery, realtor Richard Spears Jr., author Jasiri Basel, CEO Christopher Tyson and Southern University law student Ryan Thompson.

In 1857, the question “Am I Not A Man?” was brought up again during the Dred Scott decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. 50 years ago, during the Civil Rights Movement at the Memphis sanitation strike in 1968, “I AM A MAN!” signs were used to answer the same question.


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