WATCH: In Light Of Ferguson, Greater Shiloh Church in Pennsylvania Hosts ‘Young, Black and Male in America’ Forum

Greater Shiloh Church on South Side Easton hosts a forum tonight titled "To be Young, Black and Male in America." More than 200 people attended. (Express-Times Photo | KURT BRESSWEIN)
Greater Shiloh Church on South Side Easton hosts a forum tonight titled “To be Young, Black and Male in America.” More than 200 people attended. (Express-Times Photo | KURT BRESSWEIN)

One night after calling for a more diverse Easton Area School District faculty and staff, the senior pastor at Greater Shiloh Church tonight continued his efforts to draw attention to racial issues in the Easton area.

The Rev. Phillip Davis led a panel discussion, “To be Young, Black and Male in America,” at the South Side chapel, drawing an audience more than 200 strong.

He referenced the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer as “the ignition to people responding to the brutality that happened specifically to one group of victims: black men.” That killing came weeks after another unarmed black man, Eric Garner, died after being detained July 17 in a chokehold by a white police officer on Staten Island, New York.

In the audience tonight, 19-year-old Hubert Lavie, of the Bronx, New York, acknowledged the racial tension in American society.

“It’s kind of like now it’s … to the point where you know it’s a thing, rather than people trying to cover it up — not cover it up, but it’s in the limelight,” said Lavie, who said he had come to the forum to connect more with the community around Lafayette College, where he is studying film and media.

Another Lafayette student in attendance, Ahmed Braxton, also 19, of Washington, D.C., said he sees relations between the community and those in authority suffering “because authority has a way of abusing their powers.”

The discussion featured a panel of area black men who have “made it through the traps” that can befall youth, Davis said. The panel comprised Lehigh University professor James Peterson, Coordinated Health physician Jason Smith, lawyer Tyree Blair, Northampton County Prison Capt. Dave Collins, the Rev. Brandon Sardik, Easton Area School Board member Rob Obey, Greater Shiloh Deacon Harold Levy and Easton Emergency Squad EMT Christopher Ryland.

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SOURCE: Lehigh Valley Live –  Kurt Bresswein


A local Pennsylvania church is taking a closer look at race in America.

The Greater Shiloh Church in Easton hosted a community forum called “To be Young, Black, and Male in America” Wednesday night.

Members say they wanted to have an open forum about what it means to be a young African American in this country.

They also wanted to get and give some insight about how to protect boys and young men.

“Sometimes you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even in those situations if you conduct yourself appropriately, it can diffuse a situation… a volatile situation,” said Deacon Leon Chandler.

The forum comes in the wake of a deadly police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri and the choke-hold death of a man in New York.


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