The sound of bongo drums and flutes filled the air outside the
Lory Student Center’s Cherokee Room Wednesday night as students and
faculty wandered in from the snow to listen to Brother Jeff, the
keynote speaker for Black History Month.
Jeff S. Fard, or Brother Jeff as he is more commonly known, runs
the Brother Jeff Cultural Center and Cafe in Denver. With help from
the Black Hands Ensemble, poets and hip-hop artists, Brother Jeff
presented an evening of hip-hop, history, spoken work and social
“Black History Month is very important,” Brother Jeff said. “It
gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, critically
analyze where we’re at and plot out our future.”
Black Student Services, Black Definition and Black Student
Alliance were responsible for bringing Brother Jeff to CSU’s Black
History Month Celebration.
Jennifer Williams Molock, director of Black Student Services,
grew up in Denver with Brother Jeff living down the street.
“I’ve known Brother Jeff since we were both very young,” Molock
said. “This is an amazing young man.”
Students attending the event agreed.
“Brother Jeff is just incredible,” said Delijah Shead, junior
psychology major and president of BSA. “This is a very, very good
and positive way to start (Black History Month) out.”
Brother Jeff touched on topics ranging from politics to
geography, advising students to remember their past in order to
avoid future struggles.
“Think about what our ancestors had to go through so we could
sit in these chairs,” Brother Jeff said. “If we are not careful we
will find ourselves in physical slavery once again.”
He also urged students to use Black History Month to reach out
to people from different backgrounds.
“It’s not only for black people,” Brother Jeff said. “We don’t
want to use this as a cause to isolate ourselves, but instead to
give others a better understanding.”
His sentiment was echoed by many of those in the audience.
“It’s really nice to hear people doing this,” said Craig Dumas,
sophomore finance student. “I loved it.”
Brother Jeff ended by citing CSU’s theme for this year’s Black
“Talk about a story of triumph,” he said. “We are black by
nature, proud by choice.”