On Jan. 15, motivational speaker Maurice Brooks spoke at Bellevue College in room N201. Brooks talked about the contributions of the African American community to American and world culture. Maurice Brooks was recommended to speak at the college by Director of High School Initiatives and Interim Chief Conduct Officer Glenn Jackson. “Maurice Brooks has owned his own business and he knows what it takes to go forward and persevere, he understands the importance of pushing the envelope, he’s humble, he’s thoughtful and knows that black lives matter beyond the day to day rhetoric,” said Gale Barge, vice president of Institutional Advancement.
“Mr. Brooks brings forward a wealth of information relating to the more positive aspects of the African American experience,” said Glen Jackson prior to the event. Events like these are important “to further educate students on American history, which the public schools system neglected to do. Hopefully all students will take time to further research our American history and discover how African American and Blacks have played an important part in developing” added Jackson.
Maurice Brooks spoke about African American inventors and inventions, many of which are commonly used in everyday modern life, such as components of lightbulbs, the pacemaker, X-ray spectrometers and many more. Brooks claimed that the African American community collectively holds the 15th highest economic output in the world, above countries such as Indonesia and North Korea and just below Mexico.
Maurice Brooks also provided commentary on the American prison system and described it as a modern form a slavery. Brooks also explained that sharecroppers – freed slaves who were given land to grow crops on that gave a part of each crop as rent – functioned as a continued form of slavery after the American Civil War. Brooks also used the symbolism of the pre-Civil War three-fifths compromise, which legally recognized slaves as three-fifths of a person in census counts, to explain how many Americans still view black people today. “African Americans are still considered only three-fifths of a person, we may experience ourselves differently, but according to the three-fifths compromise, we are still only considered three fifths of a person. Black lives matter? Sure they do. But they’re not human. It was illegal to be cruel to a dog before it was illegal to be cruel to a black person,” said Brooks.
Maurice Brooks, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, wants people to participate in the movement and enact real change beyond just spreading the slogan.
“When we ask people to consider black lives matter, we ask them to consider changing things. If you don’t like how the police work in your community, become a cop. If you don’t like how Republicans act, become one” said Brooks.
In addition to being a motivational speaker, Maurice Brooks is also involved in Freemasonry, and is the District Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction. “Prince Hall Masonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the African American experience,” said Glen Jackson.
Maurice Brooks is also a doctorate candidate at the University of Metaphysics in Sedona, Arizona.