Black history through Cabrini

By Kelly Bush
February 25, 2018

Comic by Eric Stone.

Black history has been celebrated since the abolishment of slavery, ultimately evolving into Black History Month.

The month of February has been a celebration of black history since 1976. This tradition was started to celebrate African American achievements throughout history. Other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom designate a month for black history as well.

Each year, there is always a theme to the month and the 2018 theme is “African Americans in Times of War.” Though this is referring to the 100th anniversary of World War I, this can also apply to today. African Americans are currently in a time where they do not feel safe and it seems as though 2018 is a time of war.

Cabrini is no exception in that.

This 2017-2018 school year, Cabrini has had multiple racial slur incidents, which has led African American students to feel uncomfortable on campus. Whether the racial slur issue was handled well or not, Cabrini has not had many events to celebrate this memorable month. It is unclear if this is because the students are not interested or because faculty just overlooked the importance of holding events.

The celebration of Black History Month just does not happen on campus. Because of this, it may not seem shocking that Cabrini is made up with about 19 percent black students.

Even though today Cabrini may not have many celebrations for Black History Month, the campus does engage and has had history with black leaders.

In 1972, Renee Spellman was elected the first African American Student Government Association president. Each year, there is a Renee Spellman Award given to a student of color who achieves excellence in academics, service and extra-curricular activities.
Black Student Union began in 1977  to celebrate the black culture of our ancestors and people who have made an impact to help disband stereotypes and racism through the nations. While we celebrate our culture, we will embrace ourselves and what other cultures have to offer.
In 1990, Shirley Dixon was the first African American asked to join Cabrini University’s board of trustees. She was also an adjunct professor in education in 1992. There is also the Shirley A. Dixon and Dorthula A. Trent Scholarship given to Cabrini students of color, with a preference in education.

In 2006, Allen Jones Jr., an alum from the class of 1987, was the first African American inducted into Cabrini’s athletic Hall of Fame for basketball.

In 2013, Cabrini announced the launch of new programs. This included the Black Studies program, which evolved out of Cabrini University’s mission to be welcoming to “learners of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds.” The program is also a response to student requests for coursework on the African Diaspora.

Cabrini has definitely had remarkable moments with black history, and current students are still making history.

Kelly Bush

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