Hey everybody, it’s Black History Month! In this day and age it’s more and more difficult to talk about race. We are afraid to raise the subject fearing that we might give offense by accident. Yet talk we must, otherwise we risk falling into old patterns and making the same mistakes as the generations past.
We have a display for the occasion. It consists of two parts. There are cases with the information, pictures and other memorabilia of important black students and teachers from Marjon’s history. Those are located near the entrance to the library and were prepared by Jo Irwin-Tazzer of the library staff. The other part consists of an information board on the wall near the right-side staircase. This one was prepared by Linda Tout of Marjons Disability and Inclusion.
At the displays you can see and learn about people who lived and thrived even though their era refused to treat them seriously. Go check them out, you’d be glad you did.
Have you ever heard about Henry Rawlinson Carr? He was a student of St. Marks’ in the 19th century and came from Lagos. He went to become the first black inspector of schools. It was in the days when people like him were still bought and sold like livestock.
There was a man Williams Robinson Tucker that came to St. John from Bermuda. He is probably the first black man recorded as a trainee teacher. It was in 1846, just 13 years after the abolition of slavery.
People who have interest in African studies know Andrew Salkey, a famous poet, writer, activist and filmmaker. However, not many people know that he was once a student of St Marks and St Johns in the fifties.
I know it is really hard to pay attention while you’re carrying a tower of books, but if you have a ten minutes free, go and see the display.
I wanted to talk about technical side of our display capabilities, but I realized it is a subject worth a separate article.