by Brian Ferrell// Staff Writer
Volunteer State Community College had a Wes Moore lecture about the “Fear of (or low expectations of) young African-American males and possible solutions.”
The guest speakers included Bill Ligon, a lawyer who practiced law for 30 years, and Dr. Sidney Hardyway, professor of Psychology at Vol State.
The lecture started with Ligon telling about his life growing up in Nashville, graduating from Gallatin High School, and getting a basketball scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he said his team won the SEC Championship that year.
While waiting to get into law school, Ligon said he was offered a contract to go play for four teams; The Harlem Globetrotters, The Kentucky Colonials, The Detroit Pistons, and The Dallas Cowboys.
Ligon decided to go play for The Detroit Pistons and played only one season with the team.
After being cut from the Detroit Pistons, Ligon said he came back to Nashville and enrolled law school.
He went on to practice law for 30 years and concentrated on young African-American men and criminal defense.
Ligon said he is now working on movie project and a book project.
Hardyway said he grew up in Wichita, Kansas and was the youngest of 11 children.
As a child, Hardyway said his nickname was ‘professor cricket’ because he had to read all the mail, due to his father being illiterate.
Hardyway said he graduated from a catholic school where he was the only African-American and went on to graduate at Wichita State University.
Now, he said he has been teaching at Vol State for 20 years.
After getting to know the guest speakers, the event continued into the discussion about perception.
Ligon asked “what is the perception of the African American Community and how it affects the African American race?” and talked about how today’s society is like a jungle.
“When you’re out in the world if you walk casually, something can get you and if you run, something can get you,” said Ligon.
Ligon said that young black people always have to maneuver around certain people because of the way they are portrayed.
One person in the audience talked about the media and how it portrays black people in a negative way and a lot of people get their perception from the media without actually taking the time to educate themselves.