COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M hosted its 15th annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Wednesday.
Texas A&M graduate, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen G. Ruth was the moderator for today's Q&A discussion.
"To be a difference-maker, I've got to understand the plight of the human condition," Ruth said. "I have to recognize there are some things I don't know. There's something about people's culture and background that I've yet to learn and fully understand, and because of that you all are here today."
The keynote speaker was Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, founder of the Afrocentrism movement and professor at Temple University.
"When I say critical thinking, I think what the civil rights did for us, was to say let's question who we are as a people, as a nation, and Martin Luther King could do this," Asante said.
Dr. Asante spoke at length about the importance of a leader like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., putting him in a category of great civil and human rights leaders like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.
"Martin Luther King's place is perhaps at the very peak of America's social and cultural history," Asante said.
Dr. Asante said starting a department of African American studies at Texas A&M would be a great way to continue the work of Dr. King and others who came before us. This step forward will help people better grasp the complexities of race in the U.S.
“It's a very, very complex situation with African Americans," Asante said. "Then you have the African Americans and Native Americans mixture. African American European mixture.”