Simpson welcomes Black History Month to campus


Paige O'Connor

The second floor of Kent Campus Center features a Black History Month exhibit in the art gallery. Archival material is also available in Dunn Library.

by Paul Hyatt, Feature Editor

With Black History Month underway at Simpson College, students will be able to learn and reflect on Black history through multiple events and displays.  

“February is filled with programs and events highlighting the experiences and contributions made by Black and African Americans to this city, state and country,” Keyah Levy, Vice President for diversity, equity and inclusion, said to students in an email.   

Displays set up for Black History Month can be found in the art gallery on the second floor of Kent Campus Center or in the Dunn Library and will be up throughout Black History Month. Kent holds archival material from the Center Street Neighborhood, while Dunn Library will showcase the work of Black female authors.   

The Black Student Union (BSU) will hold two events for all students: trivia night hosted with CAB on Thursday, Feb. 10 in Black Box, and a virtual lecture by Martha S. Jones over the contribution of Black women to the women’s suffrage movement.   

“The events that we are doing will give students an interactive way to study Black History Month,” Chastain Evans, BSU president, said.   

The trivia night will consist of students answering questions about Black history to win prizes.   

This year’s Black History Month Lecture will be presented by Martha S. Jones, the author of “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.” Jones will be speaking about her book in Hubbell Hall at 1 p.m. on Feb. 16.   

Cyd Dyer, Simpson’s librarian, will also be presenting. Dyer will show off the George Washington Carver Collection over Zoom at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 28.   

Evans encourages students to make the most of Black History Month on campus by attending events and self-educating on the importance of Black contribution to history.   

“It’s a good month to look back at all the achievements that Black people have contributed to our history, and taking a chance to sit back and really learn more about my history and the history of people in my community,” Evans said. “There is always more to learn and more ways to get acquainted with my community.”   

Evans also encourages students to research how Black people have affected their areas of study.  

“Black people have influenced my side of academia: the political science, international relations and business management realm. I like to hear about how economics and international politics affect the Black community across the world,” Evans said.   

While Evans noted that Black appreciation should not be limited to one month in the year, it is helpful to spend a month focusing on the contributions and needs of Black people.   

“Black History Month is a perfect time to reflect on how we can make the campus safer and a more comfortable place for Black students and other students of minority groups. There is a lot of stuff going on in the world, so it’s a good time to make sure Black voices on campus are heard,” Evans said.