Karl Bell Gives The State Of the Black Union Address


Noah Connors-

Fitchburg State moved forward with it’s celebration of the 45th official Black History Month on Thursday, Feb. 4, by hosting a State of the Black Union address. The address was made by Karl Bell, who has worked in many important roles at Boston College, and is currently working as an Associate Director. Alongside his work with Boston College, Bell is also a PhD student and author.   

Bell led off the address with a word about the struggles of the black union, shortly before launching into his own speech. One of Bell’s main themes was the strength of the black family. He focused on how despite the pain and suffering, the black union remains strong. He said that the strength of the black union is a strength that could never be broken, for many reasons. Bell described the many attempts that have sought to weaken black strength, that have failed over and over again. These attempts can be seen as things such as voter suppression or a justice system that is unjust. When asked about the cost that the black family has paid through its struggles, Bell could only give examples of this strength by giving a list of prominent black elected leaders, as well as a list of people killed unjustly, because of their race. He used these names to showcase the systemic racism that remains alive in the United States, and the problems the country faces with racial inequality.  

Bell then recited a quote  from Sojourner Truth. He said, “What you say about someone else, reveals you”. This point was driven home, showing that one is what they put out into the world. Bell closed his remarks with a quote from poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Bell said, “Now is the time to make justice a reality…It is winter in America, and when it is winter in America, black people die”, while also making sure to remind his listeners how unbelievably urgent the time of now is. Bell’s address was incredibly moving, as well as profoundly authentic. Not only did Bell highlight many issues concerning race in the United States, but he also discussed the empowering movement of the black union.   

Fitchburg State will continue hosting events such as this address throughout the entirety of February, as part of it’s celebration of Black History Month.