The past two years have proven that by working with student groups, Trending Topics can bring a breadth of solid, diverse and interesting speakers to campus; and if it continues along this trajectory, the series will become a vital institution at Wash. U.
For the second year in a row, Washington University will bring a man of history to serve as the commencement speaker. Rather than a student of history, however, we get someone who actually lived it. Representative and civil rights leader John Lewis of Georgia will be coming to campus for the second time this academic year—this time to speak to the graduating class.
Washington University’s early history with racial integration was a rocky one. In the late 1800s, with the onset of Jim Crow segregation throughout the nation, institutions like Wash. U. that had previously accepted black students, however infrequently, completely barred their doors to them.
Monday’s “The Prophetic Voice: A Time to Break the Silence” in Graham Chapel marked the 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration. The event featured various student and faculty speakers, who focused heavily on the recent events in Ferguson and African-American relationships within the St. Louis area as well as on campus.
The model minority myth gives us this privilege but simultaneously oppresses us because we have internalized this myth; we see ourselves as the “good” minority, which prevents us from creating solidarity with other people of color. Because of this myth, anti-black racism and a strong belief in a meritocratic society permeate our community and have been used to justify our absence from this movement.
Dear Editor, I would like to expand a bit on the history that Davis Sargeant reported on “Civil Rights and Washington University: a complex history,” Stud. Life, 9/1/11. In 1968, a confluence of events led the normally compliant WU faculty to set up a large number of committees to examine virtually all aspects of university governance.
The history of race relations in St. Louis, Mo. may not be as dramatic as that of Jackson, Miss., recently depicted in the film “The Help,” but the home of Washington University has long been a battleground in the struggle for equity and tolerance.
I just got back from the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Graham Chapel and was deeply moved by professor Bob Hansman’s remarks about the true meaning of King’s life. For those who missed it, Professor Hansman reminded us that King was not a mere dreamer and proponent of conciliation, but a fierce and often critical advocate of true justice.
Like many Wash. U. students, I was disgusted by what I heard and read about the discrimination that occurred at Mothers bar. Students I know and respect were unjustly treated like second-class citizens because of their race. This bigotry is reminiscent of the treatment of blacks before the civil rights movement. This period not so long ago reeked with injustice as “separate but equal” ruled our nation. Plessy v. Ferguson was overturned only 55 years ago.
Co-founded by senior David Dresner, The Right Side of History seeks equality for the LGBT community by engaging straight youth. Over the next two years, Dresner hopes to jump-start a national movement by applying new strategies to gain equal rights for the LGBT community.