Story by Maddie Gee | Reporter, Video by Kennedy Dendy | Broadcast Reporter
Arlington sophomore Tanaka Tava was a co-leader and said he helped get support for the event.
“I guess I was more of a communications specialist reaching out to Dr. Jackson, the Lariat, and people in general just to publicize the event,” Tava said. “Also just making sure that we were able to round up a bunch of men … to use their voice and vote.”
Black voting participation has decreased, and Tava said it is time that black men step up and take charge in society..
“I do feel as though society can have a negative connotation when it comes to the African-American male, so you are the either ‘too perfect’ one or you are the ‘too outspoken’ one,” Tava said. “I feel like that is so wrong because that view puts so many people in a box.”
Tava said is time for black men to make their voices and opinions heard despite how society sees them.
“I feel like it is very important for black men to go out their and utilize their voice to make a change, because, honestly, as we continue to see how each and every election cycle goes on, black involvement — especially black men involvement — has continued to decrease,” Tava said.
Houston Baylor graduate Reggie Singletary participated in the first “100 Black Men in Suits” event and was involved in this year’s event as well.
“The first one was just a unifying thing. We had noticed that black men were really not together on campus, and that was the whole purpose of it,” Singletary said. “This time it is centered around voting and getting black men to vote and getting them involved that way. We think that it is powerful to see the image of black men in suits together going to vote. Two powerful things combined together to make a bigger impact.”
Singletary said it is important that not just black men, but all people of color get involved and vote in this year’s elections.
“I think it is important because a lot of the times we simplify the voting process and think that voting is the only way that we can make change,” Singletary said. “But if we can really rally behind it and strategically get people to vote, and people can see how directly their vote enacts change on a local, state, regional level, I think people gain more conscious into how they can directly impact their politics and everything around them as well.”