Hattiesburg, Miss. - Black History Month is upon us and one local man will be the keynote speaker for the 10th annual observance of Black History Month this Thursday at the Pearl River Community College Forrest County Center.
Andre Heath, assistant to the dean for recruitment, retention, and strategic initiatives in the College of Science and Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi said, "Black History Month is every month. Our country is built on Black history and I'm going to speak to the fact that we are stronger when we're united instead of divided."
Heath's speech is called "Not by the Color of Our Skin" and is a take on Martin Luther King Jr’s speech about not being judged by the color of our skin, but the content of our character.
Heath said "the main focus of my speech is that America's strength is not its economic power or its military power, but its people. People that are united behind the causes of liberty and justice for all and that the empty promises of politicians won't make us great again. We'll be great again when we choose to serve each other and to make sure that everybody has a fair share of success. "
Mississippi has deep roots of racism and Heath believes that Mississippi is growing out of its old ways.
Heath said "Mississippi has gotten a bad rep around the country and around the world for its race-relations and its torrid past. But I think we're making really good end roads in race-relations and I am excited about the future of Mississippi and its cities."
Heath said that the youth is the key to our future and that young people are ready for a change. And with his speech, he hopes he can inspire people to make a difference in their communities.