A New Hope Offered

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Wednesday, January 8, 1969.

The interest shown by Washburn students in the Black Forum Dec. 19 in the Forum Room was evident. With students standing in back and in the halls is an assuring, even though small signal that black-white relationships on campus are not and will not be doomed by prejudices and ignorance.

In this most recent forum, black students explained what Black Power is “Social, economic and political equality,” according to Harvey Smith.

Misunderstandings between the two races were evident, as some white students could not grasp the lack of a step-by-step program to be followed by blacks to obtain Black Power. “Where are you changing?…How much are black people going to do?” was one question from the audience.

The blacks, on the other hand, insist that they will obtain the goals of Black Power and do not need to follow a rigid pattern of action.

“The Negro doesn’t have to struggle for acceptance,” one black student in the audience declared, “America needs him.”

The willingness to become aware of such misunderstandings, shown in this forum, is a step forward towards understanding between black and white.

Recognition and correction of seemingly small matters, such as the common association of black with bad (black humor, black sheep, black cat) will help increase understanding.

What better way to begin a new year than with the hope that, as one black member of the audience said, maybe we will learn to “treat each other as people.”