PITTSBURG, Kans. — An area university is celebrating Black history in Southeast Kansas.
“They have included images of people that they feel are just representing our community and giving them the power and motivation they need on a daily basis,” said Nicolle Murphy, PSU Office of Student Diversity.
African American students on the campus of Pittsburg State University created a display for Black History Month.
It’s located on the bottom floor of the Overman Student Center, next to the university’s Office of Student Diversity, of which Nicolle Murphy is the director.
“Obviously there are some familiar faces, after years and years of celebrating Black History, and just the advancements that we’ve made. There are also some new faces on here to some new individuals within the music industry or the movie industry,” said Murphy
“Alex Hailey came, I believe in the late ’60s, and gave a talk here in which he reportedly talked about this his new project which he was working on, his family history, and that was the book that came out as “Roots”,” said Steven Cox.
Steven Cox runs the university’s Special Collections and archives and says many prominent African Americans have come to campus over the years, including Count Basie and his orchestra, politician Julian Bond, and activist Dick Gregory, to name a few.
Southeast Kansan Eva Jessye actually taught at the university.
“Had worked in New York City and just very big in the music scene in the 1930s and 40s, in 1935 she was a choral director in the first production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess the opera,” said Cox.
Those interested in checking out the university’s Black History Month events can visit the Pitt State website, here.