Black History Month

Feb 022004
Authors: Kim Barone

Even though Brown v. The Board of Education was passed in 1954,

it is still relevant today, said speakers at the Black History

Month opening ceremony on Monday.

The ceremony, which was held in the Lory Student Center,

featured several guest speakers and performers.

“This has to go beyond a campus Black History Month,” said Fort

Collins Mayor Ray Martinez. “It should be a community-wide event,

not just a campus event.”

Laurence Pendleton, the associate general counsel at CSU, spoke

about education and African Americans during the event. The theme

of Black History Month this year is “Black by Nature, Proud by

Choice: Celebrating 50 Years Since Brown v. The Board of


Martinez was present to read the proclamation, which was

presented to Jennifer Williams Molock, director of Black Student


“(Black History Month) means a celebration of the heritage of my

people and I look at where we come from, where we are now and

hopefully the better places we will be in the future,” said Deonte

Waldroup, a senior sociology major.

The audience stood quietly as the Black National Anthem was sung

acapella by Simone Morrison-Sloan. “Sing a song full of hope that

the dark past has taught us, sing a song full of the hope that the

present has brought us,” she sang.

The anthem was followed by a performance by the Unity Singers of

CSU and a reading of the poem “Blood” by Jennifer Johnson.

The landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. The Board of

Education, was a turning point in African American history,

according to the Web site “On May 17, 1954, the

United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision on

segregation in public elementary schools. In the field of public

education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place.”

Black History month began initially as “Negro History Week” in

1926, according to a pamphlet by Black Student Services. It was

started by Carter G. Woodson, who at the time was attending Harvard


Woodson initially created Negro History Week to educate the

public about African American people from around the world. Today,

Black History Month is celebrated throughout the month of February

and honors the achievements of African Americans both past and


“I think it’s a month to let everyone know – blacks, whites,

Hispanics, Asians – that blacks have come so far and we’ve done so

much,” said Natasha Stuckey, a sophomore health and exercise

science major.

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