Gaining a Conscience

The Black Consciousness Conference enters its 37th year

Words and Photos by R. Ray Robinson Contributor

Le Ballet Dembaya playing West African drum music at the Black Consciousness Conference on Nov. 5.

There’s nothing better than brothers and sisters coming together at an event to build a brighter community. But if the event is at CSULB, it always makes everything more promising.

A jam-packed day of festivities regarding knowledge and unity was held at the 37th Black Consciousness Conference on campus on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The event is annually hosted by the Black Student Union (BSU) to enlighten and uplift student success through panels, workshops and guest speakers.

The conference touched on topics such as economics, relationships, history and activism as well as planning for the future in regards to Black Americans.

A workshop on Holistic Health was presented to the audience by CSULB senior Danny Crumble and alumnus Amethyst Jefferson-Roberts. They spoke about the importance of not eating too much junk food or food with GMOs and other preservatives that lead to future health issues. Crumble emphasized the issue of “food deserts,” communities where unhealthy foods are rampant.

“Eat healthy, grow your own food and don’t look at the dollar value in regards to wasting so much money on healthy food, but rather look at your health in 20 years,” Jefferson-Roberts said.

Other speakers included Ashley Wright and Brother Polight.

The two speakers were welcomed on stage by the traditional West African drum company called the “Le Ballet Dembaya.” The company’s rhythmic moves and dazzling drumming kept everyone’s heads ringing to the African beat.

Wright spoke on the importance of motherly love from a mother to her child, and the role of breastfeeding to nurture that bond.

Polight spoke on the importance of protecting the community, whether that be from police brutality, drug addiction, or death. He emphasized protecting black men and black women.

Moving away from the negativity of so-called “inner-cities” was Polight’s mission to gather up knowledge to find new ways to better build it up rather than to destroy it.

For more information about other events hosted by BSU, please visit

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