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Lawton middle schools host African American teen conference

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -February is Black history month. And in honor of the event, a group of Lawton middle school students got the chance to learn more about African-American history and the challenges African-Americans continue to face to this day.

The Lawton Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held its annual African American Teen Conference today at MacArthur and Eisenhower middle schools. More than 160 students of all ethnicities were in attendance. The conference gives students a chance have an open discussion about the current problems and to ask questions.

Nyree Bailey is like any other 8th grader at today's African American Teen Conference, excited about the cake and snacks, but she's also excited to increase her understanding of African American History.

"Learn a little bit more about what like black people were not allowed to have and do because I don't know that much about that."

Racism, inequality and disrespect are issues Bailey says her family talks about all the time and hope she learns more about.

After hearing stories of brave men and women who fought for freedom and equality, Bailey felt moved and inspired.

"Everybody has something that they can give to a community and if people are separated than other people can't help with that."

Victoria Robertson is a retired assistant principal for Lawton high school and a member of the Lawton Alumnae Sorority. She hopes each student walks away with a different outlook about African American heritage.

"It is my hope that these students take away respect. The respect for each other and the respect for the history of African Americans. We all know that this nation is a nation of immigrants, however the African American did not migrate here, we were brought here. So, an appreciation of the African American history, their accomplishments and Adventist."

Bailey's take away message and advice to everyone is...

"If you don't respect them than they can't respect you and that's pretty important."

Robertson and Dr. Polk will also be going to Central and Tomlinson Middle School to host their African American teen conferences. That is happening Thursday afternoon.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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