Tag Archives: Black History Month

Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse Jackson Holds ‘Conversation’ at TSU During Tennessee Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson, renowned civil rights and social justice crusader, discussed voter registration, education, poverty and the commemoration of Black History Month during a forum at Tennessee State University on Tuesday.

TSU President Glenda Glover organized the forum, dubbed ‘A conversation with Civil Rights Icon Rev. Jesse Jackson.’

President Glenda Glover and the Rev. Jesse Jackson answer questions from the audience during the gathering. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Jackson is making stops and holding discussions in Tennessee as part of efforts leading to the upcoming commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin King Jr.

Jackson, 76, was at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis when King was shot on April 4.

Before coming to Nashville, Jackson made several stops in Memphis, including a “community town hall forum” at Mt. Pisgah CME Church, followed by “special greetings” at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. He also toured the Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital, a historic center where African Americans could get treatment during the segregation era.

“It is always a treat to have an iconic figure like Rev. Jackson to come to our campus, especially during Black History Month,” Glover said, in welcoming Jackson. “We are just pleased and honored to have him on our campus.”

Asking students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors in a packed Forum to chant his famous “keep hope alive” line, Jackson said he was concerned about the direction of the nation.

Rev. Jackson, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, is greeted by members of the organization with President Glover, Miss TSU Kayla Smith, and Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, Dr. Curtis Johnson. Jackson also received a portrait of himself, done by TSU student Brandon Van Leer. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

“What are you doing today to extend Dr. King’s legacy, as we celebrate Black History Month,” he asked. “Making education more affordable, breaking the poverty level among our people, and providing them more opportunities seem farther away every day.”

He said too few have too much and too many do not have much.

“Dr. King was about lifting African Americans out of poverty, but I am sorry to say that today 44 percent of all African Americans make less than $15 an hour. Black institutions like TSU have been the bedrock of education for blacks,  but most survive on the whims of politics. That is not fair,” Jackson said.

To even the playing field, he said, the ballot box is the answer.

“You must register to vote,” he said, lamenting that four million blacks in the Deep South are not registered to vote. “Another 2.2 million who are registered did not vote in the last election.”

Jackson’s message on voter registration and Dr. King’s legacy seemed to resonate with Wesley Reed-Walton, of Chicago, an English major.

“It is just great to see someone who actually knew Dr. King,” Reed-Walton said. “I’m 22, so the only thing I know about Dr. King is what I’ve learned. So seeing someone that was this close to Dr. King is a humbling experience.”

Bryan Mack, of Washington, D.C., a junior architectural engineering and interior design major, agreed.

“I’m ecstatic,” Mack said. “I think this is good for us because we need to listen to someone who’s seen and been through it, to give us that motivation. Because right now, we’re really in a generation where we’re coasting. That flame needs to be lit underneath us. And I feel like this is the perfect time for that.”

“Every student should be registered to vote,” Jackson urged the students.

He said President Trump is calling for a military parade when 23,000 soldiers are on food stamps.

“That is disgraceful. You can change that by voting,” Jackson said.

Before leaving, Jackson, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, was honored by members of the Greek organization. One member, Brandon Van Leer, a senior graphic design major from Nashville, presented Jackson with a portrait of himself.

Later, Dr. Glover hosted a reception at her residence for the civil rights leader.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU President Glenda Glover says university focused on student success, no longer a ‘school of last resort’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – TSU President Glenda Glover says the university is focused on student success, and is no longer a “school of last resort.”

logoThe president was part of a panel of educators, community and business leaders that spoke at a Black History Month luncheon on Feb. 8 organized by Cable Nashville, a leadership organization for women’s professional advancement.

The theme of the event was “Leadership Vision in Challenging Times.” Besides Glover, the panel featured the presidents of Nashville’s other historically black higher education institutions: Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, and American Baptist College.

Glover said, as an HBCU, Tennessee State has always opened its doors to all students, even those rejected by other institutions. But she said the university has shifted its focus “exclusively” to student success.

“Excellence remains our top priority, but we can’t be the school of last resort,” Glover said.

In October, Glover announced that TSU is raising its admission standards and enhancing student success initiatives to increase retention and graduation rates. Beginning this fall, all students must have a 2.5 GPA and a 19 on the ACT for admission to TSU. The previous admission scores were 2.25 or a 19 on the ACT for in-state students, and a 2.5 or 19 ACT for out-of-state students.

“The day is over when you can call and say, ‘I have a good student with a 1.9 GPA and has promise,’” Glover said. “Well, this may not be the time you want to apply to TSU. We are raising standards because I believe that quality attracts quality.”

Janet Rachel, a member of Cable and a 1977 graduate of TSU, attended the luncheon. She said she fully supports Dr. Glover’s “bold” decision on student success and the spike in admission standards.

“I believe that at the core of helping blacks succeed is not just education but quality education,” said Rachel, who is the talent acquisition manager for diversity relocation and career navigation at Vanderbilt University. “I am really glad about what I am hearing from Dr. Glover. I hope the alumni will step up and become more engaged and more involved.”

The other HBCU presidents on the panel were Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, Meharry Medical College; Dr. Forrest E. Harris, Sr., American Baptist College; and Frank Sims, Fisk University.

Susan Allen Huggins, president and CEO of Cable, said it was important to bring the HBCU presidents together because of the partnership and the important role their institutions play in the community in terms of diversity and molding minds.

“We (Cable) were founded because of our strong understanding of and belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion,” Huggins said. “The Nashville community wouldn’t be what it is without these historically black institutions and the tremendous contributions they are making.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Announces Black History Month Events

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University announced today a schedule of events for Black History Month beginning in February. Students, staff, faculty, alumni and members of the public are invited to attend all events.

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TSU 2015 Black History Month Schedule of Events
The University will hold a series of compelling activities to celebrate cultural diversity at TSU and recognize the contributions of African-Americans during the month of February as the nation observes Black History Month. This American history is one all can celebrate as we recognize the achievements and significant roles African-Americans, in collaboration with so many others, have played in shaping the country.

Upcoming program and events include lectures, history and culture conference, panel discussions, and musical and theatrical performances. The University will also hold its annual Day on the Capital Feb. 10, and African-American History and Culture conference Feb. 13. Events are free, unless noted, and open to the public.

For more information, call the Office of Media Relations at 615.963.5331 or communications@tnstate.edu.

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

African-American History and Culture Conference set for February 13 at TSU

LCAAHClogo2NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Room) – The 34th annual Nashville Conference of African-American History and Culture will take place Friday, Feb. 13, at the Tennessee State University Avon Williams campus.

Co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, and the Metropolitan Historical Commission, the conference will focus on the educational and musical legacies of Nashville’s African-American community. For more than 30 years, the award-winning conference has brought together historians, students, educators, community leaders and others interested in African-American history and culture.

The 2015 conference continues the long-standing tradition of focusing on unsung heroes in Tennessee’s cultural history from slavery through the 20th century. Those highlighted at this year’s conference include John McCline, a former slave at Cloverbottom Plantation in Donelson, who escaped from bondage, worked for the Union Army in the Civil War, and eventually found a new life in the American West. Also highlighted during the daylong conference is journalist, author and educator Samuel Yette, an English graduate from Tennessee State University, who became an influential and sometimes incendiary voice on civil rights, and was the first African- American Washington correspondent for Newsweek.

Along with McCline and Yette, the life and work of King Daniel Ganaway will also be explored. Ganaway, an African-American from a Rutherford County family, was an award-winning photographer, working in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Chicago. His portraits were exhibited during the 1920s and 1930s in Los Angeles, Chicago, and as part of the Harmon Foundation’s traveling exhibit of African-American artists.

This year’s speakers include Belmont University professor and noted author, Dr. Sybril Bennett, who will speak to the lessons of the Underground Railroad and how its innovative network can be adapted for networking in the 21st century, and Tennessee State University historian, Dr. Carroll Van West, who will present “Where giants walked: American Baptist College and Selma’s voting rights movement.”

Building on the conference’s long-standing commitment to honoring the contributions of African Americans to city’s cultural scene, the Nashville Public Library’s Wishing Chair Productions will stage “Anasazi the Spider,” in honor of the rich story-telling traditions of the African-American community.

Conference participants will also have the opportunity to view the winning student video documentaries from the 2014 Tennessee History Day competition. Honored for the best projects in African- American history, middle- and high-school students and their teachers will show their documentaries shorts from the 2014 Nashville Conference Committee competition.

The conference takes place Friday, Feb. 13, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Avon Williams Campus of Tennessee State University. Registration is $20, and includes admission to all speakers and performances, additions to the Profiles of African-Americans in Tennessee series, and other publications. Lunch and parking are also included. To register visit www.nashville.gov/mhc, or call 615.862.7970.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.