Panel puts relationships in different light

Jocelyn Robinson

As part of the month-long celebration of African American culture, the African American studies department is offering a series of lectures and discussions on black love.

The first of these lectures, “You, Me, She and He,” looked at African American relationships on Western’s campus and in society at large.

The discussions are part of Martha Sales’ African American experience class and was open to all students.

“We wanted to motivate awareness of African American relationships,” Sales said.

Sales led the discussion by asking questions of the four students on the panel and then directing the questions to the general audience.

After the panelists gave their answers, the audience continued by responding to the questions and commenting on the answers.

Sales gave her opinion based on what she saw on Western’s campus. At the end of the lecture, she gave advice to both the men and women in the audience.

Sales stressed the importance of commitment in relationships, particularly in African American relationships.

“[Committed relationships] are important,” Sales said. “They are vital to our existence.”

According to Sales, the cause of most problems in student relationships is that the average student is not ready to be in one. At this point in students’ lives, they don’t know themselves well enough to know what they want in another person, she said.

“If you’re asking for something you’re not ready for, you’re going to get the short end of the stick,” Sales said.

Although the focus of the discussion was on relationships from the African American perspective, the topic was general enough to benefit all students.

“A lot of what was said was about relationships, not race,” said Burlington junior Brandy Jackson. “It made you think about yourself and how you dealt with those things.”

Sales said she thought the students learned more about themselves, as well as learning the point of view of the opposite sex.

“I hope they grow from what they learned,” she said.

Reach Jocelyn Robinson at [email protected]