50th Anniversary of Integration Commemoration Sept. 25
The commemoration of 50 years of racial integration at the College begins Tuesday, Sept. 25, with more events planned for Homecoming and Family Weekend.
In August 1962, James McCorkle ’66 of Winston-Salem became the first African-American student to enroll at the College. In that same year, two Kenyan students were enrolled.
The kickoff event at 4 p.m. Tuesday on the quad in front of King Hall will feature remarks by President Kent Chabotar and James McCorkle and skits depicting black history and culture from the 1960s forward.
Led by the Multicultural Education Department, during the 2012-13 academic year Guilford will commemorate the admission of the first black students, celebrate the legacy of black achievement and culture and continue reconciliation practices in support of positive campus-wide race relations.
“We will honor the students who integrated the College and lift of the stories of those students, faculty and staff who were trailblazers during such a pivotal moment in Guilford and United States history,” said Jada Drew ’07, interim director of educational initiatives and community partnerships and Africana community coordinator.
Various events will serve as a platform to observe the many “Journeys in Blackness” at Guilford, Drew said. The phrase “Journeys in Blackness” was coined in the 1970s by students who founded Brothers and Sisters in Blackness (BASIB), the first black student organization on campus that is now Black Unifying Society (BUS).
Homecoming and Family Weekend will feature an alumni panel discussion, a live music and open mic event, a black alumni mixer, a black alumni and student breakfast, a pre-game tailgate and cookout and an open forum about forming a black alumni advisory council. Events are open to all.
In Guilford College Art Gallery in Hege Library, Stephen Hayes’ “Cash Crop” exhibition is on display. It features 15 woodcut sculptures representing enslaved Africans brought to the New World beginning in 1540.
Events will continue throughout the year, including a scholarship fundraising banquet planned in May 2013. Workshops, exhibits, historical tours and other events are planned, along with an oral history project.
A campus book club will read Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown, an autobiographical novel first published at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1965. The author writes about his coming of age amidst poverty and violence in Harlem during the 1940s and 1950s.