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 www.findlaw.com: “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