Campus News

Black History Month events:Remembering historic heroes throughout February

February is a memorable time of year for many who come from different backgrounds. Black History Month commemorates Black Americans who have contributed to history in the United States.

Kirkwood Community College has many events throughout February that educate students and faculty about historical figures who have fought for the rights of Black Americans. 

On Thursdays in February during Activity Hour, in 3008 Cedar Hall, a series of videos on historic Black advocates will be shown. Frederick Douglass, Buffalo Soldiers, Josephine Baker, Thurgood Marshall and Nichelle Nichols are all notable figures in American history. The videos showcase their lives and achievements. 

At the beginning of the month, there was a faculty lecture by Dr. Renee Schlueter titled “Frederick Douglass’s Learned, Black Traveler Gaze: Transporting ‘Heroic’ Romantic Ideals and the Roman ‘Composite Nation’ Back to America.” 

In another event, Kirkwood’s Black Student Union club, led by Jed Peterson, welcomed high schools in the area to talk about life as an Eagle and shine light on the new club. 

Black Student Union President Ellen Waynawhere illustrated the importance of having the club at Kirkwood. “It really gives students a sense of community. It is hard for new students to find connections sometimes so the club helps out with that a lot,” she said.

 The club started in late April of 2023 and has showcased large amounts of success and interest since. 

Waynawhere also added, “This club has helped so many students. I couldn’t have asked for a better club advisor as well. He is always super supportive no matter what it is.” The club is meeting every Tuesday this month to work on organizing future events and projects in respect of Black History Month. 

Club Advisor Jed Peterson said, “The club has been successful in so many ways. We’re doing activities every week and students have gone on field experiences. In March we’re doing a gala – it is so exciting to see that it’s impacted so many students.”

On March 2 and 3, there will be a production in Ballantyne Auditorium titled, “Black Women Walking.” The production will bring in additional actresses and actors from outside the state to perform. According to Peterson, Kevvin Taylor, the director, wanted to bring in an award winning production to Kirkwood which hasn’t been done before. 

There will be additional events sponsored by the Black Student Union club as they continue to bring in new members. Peterson said it’s interesting to build a connection with students when you don’t know what they might be accomplishing in the future. “It is very exciting to work with the students who try hard for others to belong as this month brings many new faces,” he said.