By Tony Parra
Barry Scott said that despite dealing with racism he has remained positive and wanted ENMU students and other audience members to do the same no matter what obstacles they confront.
Scott is an African-American motivational speaker who has been on other campuses and preached the importance of Martin Luther King Jr..
“He’s definitely the best motivational speaker I’ve heard,” Nicole Johnson, an Eastern New Mexico University student, said. “His speech moved me. You feel it deep down in your gut. I wish more people would have come out to listen to him. I don’t think they realize what they missed.”
Scott, an actor who has played roles in the television series, “In the Heat of Night”, “Good Times” and “All in the Family,” spoke to a small crowd on Thursday evening in Ground Zero of the Campus Union Building at ENMU.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Scott said, going on to tell crowd members to be positive. “Misery and joy are a state of mind. While the dreamer (Martin Luther King Jr.) was killed, the dream lives on. It lives in you.”
Scott said his message of remaining positive was not only for the African-Americans in the crowd but for everybody in the crowd no matter what ethnicity they come from.
“I was very impressed with him,” DeRon Broughton, an ENMU student, said. “It (his speech) was very touching. I liked how he repeated what Martin Luther King said.”
Broughton said he wished there was more black history being taught in general.
Tiffany Davis, an ENMU student, agreed the speech moved her and was very touching.
“Some of my family members have had to go through this (racism),” Davis said. “It makes me appreciate things more.”
Scott said he had to overcome an incident in which a police officer in Nashville, Tenn. stuck a gun to his face and called him a “nigger”. According to Scott, the police officer told him by killing him he would be doing society a favor.
“I hope that what I’ve done has not created feelings of shame or guilt,” Scott said. “As a colored boy I can tell you we’ve come a long way.”
Scott told the audience about when he was young he used to pretend he was Martin Luther King Jr. Scott said he watched Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Scott conducted his speech as part of the month-long celebration of black history. Members of the African-Affairs office helped put together art exhibits, a comedy act, essay contests and will have a banquet at 7 p.m. on Monday in the CUB Ballroom.