‘I think it’s important to remember where we came from’: ASU alumni talk importance of Juneteenth

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 12:13 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - This Juneteenth, WALB News 10 is spotlighting people making a difference in the community.

WALB News 10′s Jim Wallace caught up with two Albany State University alumni, who are well known for working in the school’s mentorship program called MALES.

A Cuthbert native, Dr. Alex Perryman said his life is committed to the betterment of the world around him.

“The celebration of Juneteenth is the celebration of the evolution of us as African-Americans, but as Americans as well. It just shows how far we have come through that time. But I think it’s important to remember where we came from,” Perryman said.

A Snellville native, Howard Weatherspoon said Juneteenth is a very important federal holiday for America.

“It’s just a moment to celebrate where we came from. In order to move forward in life, you got to know where you came from. I think like that’s the biggest thing to remember when celebrating Juneteenth,” Weatherspoon said.

Both Weatherspoon and Perryman are Albany State University graduates. Both were president of the MALES mentoring program while there. The MALES program stresses teaching a success path through education, leadership, and service.

“It teaches you how to be an effective member of not only your family but your community,” Perryman said.

Said Weatherspoon: “Remind people to lean on their community. And it’s much easier to propel through life if you have a village behind you, and not try to do it on your own. There is a saying, ‘if you want to go fast, go by yourself, but if you want to go far, take people with you.’”

Both men credit ASU and the MALES program with helping their path. And on Juneteenth, they urge all Americans to strive for their greatest potential.

“It’s not where you came from, it’s what’s in you,” Weatherspoon said. “That drive is really what’s going to propel you.”

Said Perryman: “As a male, also just realize the importance of what we have to continue to do to push the nation forward, and not backward.”

Both Albany State alumni recommend taking full advantage of educational opportunities and programs like MALES.

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