When I first enrolled in Kean University I was completely oblivious to the history of the school, I was simply just a high school graduate seeking after acceptance from any institution. However, being involved in the Blackeaning Tour has really opened my eyes to the history of kean especially in regards to the black community here at the institution.
Since its inception in 1855, Kean University has been a beacon of hope and service to its community. Over the past 160 years, Kean has seen an exponential growth and development. She now reaches beyond her community and empowers students from all around the world with knowledge and education. However, these developments did not just occur. There are men and women who have sacrificed a lot to bring Kean to where it is today and even now, there are still people who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to make Kean the “world class institution” it is today. In this Blackeaning Tour, it is my aim to dig deeper to find out who these men and women are, focusing on the African Americans who have done their quota in the building of this school.
Kean University was established in a time where extreme racism and segregation existed. How did Kean overcome this obstacle to become one of the most diverse schools in the country? Who were the first black students at Kean and how did they make their voices heard? Did they go through the same ordeal that Ernest Greene and his seven other counterparts had to endure as the first black students at an all-white school? Fast forwarding to present day Kean, are there any obstacles that leaders of black student organizations face or have faced which may be a “flash from the past”?
Kean University has been around for over a century, hence it’s engulfed with rich intriguing history and just like the United States of America, this history is never complete without the African American.