Black History Month display showcases prominent Black leaders


Mogli Prout - Benoit

Washburn’s Black Student Union displays their pride in African American history every year with a board full of events and prominent figures. The display was put up Feb. 1 and left up for the entirety of Black History Month.

Today is the final day to see the Black History Month display outside of the Union Cafe. The wall is covered with knowledge that any student would find inspirational. It’s a small mural that showcases prominent Black names in multiple fields. Black politicians, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs, have small pictures and biographies for Washburn to marvel at. Not only are there bios but also short historical facts from events that changed black society.

The Black History Month Display has been a Washburn Black Student Union (WBSU) tradition for at least five years with the only exception being last year when in-person classes were canceled due to COVID-10.. The President of the WBSU, Amari McGlory has witnessed the display going up every year since joining the club, last year she created the display.

When asked McGlory why the WBSU builds a new display every year to showcase in front of the students, McGlory emphasized the importance of Black History Month.

“It’s to show how important black history month should be. The display reminds people of the significant events and accomplishments African Americans have made. Most people don’t even know the facts that this board shares” said McGlory.

This display features three different segments. The farthest left shows historical events spanning from 1865 to 1969. What might stand out most here is the retelling of two different times Washburn University stood by their black students advocating for their rights and defending them against racism.

The middle display is covered with literature informing students on current ways to get involved with black student organizations here in Washburn. There’s a mission statement from the Washburn Black Student Union, some flyers from two of the black greek life orders, and a short history of the divine nine among other images.

The third display, stationed on the right, is the most informative. With news clippings holding info about events from 1970 to the present, it shows tangible proof of improvements that black lives have made to society. This is also where the short biographies of prominent African American scientists, law makers, entertainers and more are found.

Deandre Harvey, a sophomore in forensic investigation, fellow member of WBSU, expressed his admiration for Rosa Park.

“She’s an inspiration. She was the same age as my grandparents, and did big things even though she was just a normal person like them. She wasn’t a famous activist until she stood up for herself.” said Harvey.

There are plenty more people who deserve recognition and reverence but don’t really get it on the board. It’ll only be up to for the duration of Black History Month so if you haven’t seen it yet be sure to stop by and learn something.


Edited by: Rakesh Swarnakar and LeSha’ Davis