Quad Cities Campus

Black History Month

February is Black History Month

2022 Theme - Black Health and Wellness

Learn more at https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/

Library of Congress: Additional Information

I am inspired by...

Dr. Gloria D. Scott

Dr. Gloria D. Scott (1938 - )

Gloria Dean Randle Scott was born in 1938 in Houston, Texas and received her BA, MA and Ph.D from Indiana University. Dr. Scott served in a variety of academic and administrative roles in higher education throughout the country, finishing her career as President of Bennett University (North Carolina) in 2001 after a tenure of fourteen years. Her many accomplishments in academia are impressive, but what most inspires me about Dr. Scott are the three years in the middle of her career where she left higher education and served as the first African American president of Girl Scouts of America from 1975-1978. A Girl Scout in a segregated troop in her youth, Dr. Scott served in several volunteer leadership roles that worked toward desegregation in scouting prior to her being selected as president. In this role she continued to work for the equality and inclusion of black girls in the organization and even in retirement, Dr. Scott still continues to serve on the national board for Girl Scouts. As a lifelong Girl Scout and current troop and service unit leader, I see the positive results that are produced when young women develop their leadership skills in a multicultural environment and I thank Dr. Scott for her unwavering support of scouting for all girls.

Audrey Adamson
Director, Center for Career Preparation and Employer Engagement

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston (1891 - 1960)

Zora Neale Hurston was an anthropologist, writer and educator of the early 20th Century, adopting the approach to storytelling of the Harlem Renaissance in letting African Americans speak for themselves of their real lives. She was one of the few women and African Americans that received recognition for her work in her lifetime. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, she introduced readers to a narrative style of historical fiction and magical realism that was rich in cultural archetypes and made use of African American Vernacular English used in Southern Florida. This work cracked open my limited idea of knowing. This led me to pursue a serious interest in qualitative research and pushed me to ask who has knowledge and how power and knowledge and connected.

Andrea Hyde Ph.D
Associate Professor of Educational Studies

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Benjamin Banneker was a free-born descendant of slaves who became a famous 18th-century astronomer, mathematician and surveyor. He is considered by many to be the first African-American scientist. While largely self-taught in astronomy and mathematics, he assisted in the surveying of territory for the construction of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. He published a series of almanacs from 1792-1797 which included his own astronomical calculations, literature and medical and tidal information.

When I was a kid, it was important to my parents to help me understand my own heritage and history. My mother would buy me these comic books which illustrated the lives of different African, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean heroes, inventors, and slaves and these always captured my attention in understanding the role of education, the courage displayed by the oppressed, and how the many things we use in our lives today were impacted by those of my race. I firmly remember Benjamin Banneker's cover page and the display of a large clock. You see, he constructed a wooden clock that was reputed to keep accurate time and ran for more than 50 years until his death. This innovation and brilliance inspired me to go beyond my own capacities in what I learned in school and to believe that I could go as far as my mind would take me. Education is freedom and knowledge is power. These gifts allow us to go further than the capacities we sometimes limit ourselves to and it is these same gifts that inspire me to encourage students to find themselves and their limitless capacities in the world that surrounds them.

Kenny Wheeler
Academic Advisor

John Coltrane

John Coltrane (1926-1967)

John Coltrane (1926-1967) was the most important saxophonist in jazz history. After stints with Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis (Kind of Blue), Coltrane led his own revolutionary quartet: check out "My Favorite Things" and A Love Supreme! Growing up outside Washington DC, I stumbled upon WPFW, a radio station for "jazz and justice." A guitar player exploring improvisation (not to mention an alienated suburban teen), I was quickly hooked on Coltrane: his wild improvisations, his commitment to civil rights (e.g., "Alabama"), and his late-career mysticism (e.g., Interstellar Space). Looking back, I am most grateful to Coltrane for blowing my mind, and officially launching the liberal arts education I have been so lucky to pursue ever since.

Dan Malachuk Ph.D
Associate Professor of English

Jason Collins

Jason Collins (1978 -))

Jason Collins was born in Northridge, California on December 2, 1978. Jason’s professional basketball career began at Stanford University and progressed to the NBA with teams such as the Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. On April 29, 2013, Jason became the first openly gay African American athlete in the NBA, MLB, NHL or NFL. Jason has and continues to serve as an advocate, role model, and game-changer for LGBT student athletes.

I am personally touched by Jason’s willingness to break down barriers for the LGBT and African American communities both on and off the basketball court. On May 2013, I had the privilege to meet Jason at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards in New York. At this event, Jason received the Courage Award while I was recognized as the Educator of the Year. I followed Jason’s speech at the ceremony and was able to share a hug and celebrate our collective work in the areas of inclusive education.

After retiring in 2014, Jason’s voice for acceptance continued with recent speeches at the Democratic National Convention this past summer. Jason Collins is a champion and trailblazer for all youth and a role model that inspires me to reach higher everyday.

Matthew Beck, M.S.Ed, LCPC, NCC
Associate Professor, Department of Counselor Education and College Student Personnel