For the first time in it’s four year history AT&T made a stop in Raleigh for it’s 28 Days speaker series which features inspirational speakers from influential African Americans. This keynote speaker of the night, author and activist Kevin Powell encouraged attendees to learn their history.

“If you don’t know who you are, you’re not going to like yourself, you’re not going to love yourself, and you will not like others who look like you. How can we begin to improve our relationships with others when we don’t even like ourselves,” Powell stated. “Many people call our president the foodstamp president, but what they don’t realize is that African Americans have had to work harder in some cases than a lot of people and have been helping others for a very long time.”

Powell revealed to the audience that he was raised by a mother who had an 8th grade education who used her voice, had a vision, and took action to make sure that he had a better life and more opportunities than she was afforded during her childhood.  Powell stressed to the audience that it is time for America to start treating the poor better. “We should never call our African American brothers and sisters ghetto; We should not call Whites rednecks and trailer trash; We should not call Latinos illegal immigrants. We are all people.” Powell proclaimed.

The theme of the night was reflection of the past and and creation of self history. AT&T’s goal for the 28 days seeks to “inspire, motivate, and challenge consumers to rethink what they can achieve in their lives through it.” In addition to this Powell stressed that as people, [we] should not wait until February just to celebrate Black History Month. “Black History occurs 365 days a a year. Black History is American History; World History. We can’t begin to change the way that we feel about ourselves if we don’t know our rich history.”

The AT&T 28 days was hosted by award winning hip hop artist Common who performed the AT&T 28 days tribute song, in addition to a freestyle tailor made for Raleigh. From Raleigh, the tour will move on to Washington, DC and conclude on February 29th in Detroit with other keynote speakers such as Jeff Johnson, Holly Peete Robinson, and Michael Eric Dyson.

The AT&T 28 Days campaign is a way for AT&T to show support for the African American community.