In piecing together the story of the history of the relationship between black immigrants and black Americans my group members and I have decided to divide the work among ourselves using several resources. Each member will do a different part of the project relating to the issue using resources such as books, digital magazines, and journals. Two particular books used as a resource are, From a Normal Beginning: The Origins of Kean College NJ and At the Center of the Storm: Reflections a State College President. In reading the From a Normal Beginning: The Origins of Kean College NJ so far their main focus is on the location of the school and its movement throughout the years as in relation to relationship between faculty and students. This is not what I am looking for, therefore I will not use this source, however, the book, At the Center of the Storm: Reflections a State College President it was stated that a President of Kean University when Kean was known as Newark State sought to make Kean a multiracial, multiethnic, and multireligious society. It is my goal to continue reading to see how successful he was. Especially learning about the students’ relationships that were admitted. Furthermore, I plan to do further research using digital magazines because students were the authors and it will shine light and on their thoughts and reactions to each other.
Ever since elementary school, I have had strong interest in the Civil Rights movement along with many other aspects of the Black Liberation struggle in particular the one which took place during the rebellious time period of the 1960s and 1970s. From this early interest in history in particular surrounding this era came a principled motivation in taking this course on Black History in America. And although my initial impression of the class was that it would be a traditional course on Black History, meaning based on tests and assignments, I was surprised to learn on the first day of class that the course would in a sense vicarious and based on investigative research regarding primary historical sources, while the final goal being the construction of a real-world historical project which is the creation of an informative tour. In the creation of this tour I personally expect to learn much about a little known and overlooked past in regards to a historically marginalized group in the United States who’s experience challenges the very values that the country perceives itself as a shinning beacon of, while simultaneously helping others to be informed about the same plight. Also, I hope to contribute through this project to the understanding of how the Black community has overcome in particular to Kean University in regards to its oppression and marginalization. While personally learning, and informing others of the trials, and progress the Black community on Kean University I hope to also create a connection between the the issues of the past and those of the present. In doing so I hope to not only highlight the progress that the Black community has achieved in Kean University but to also highlight the issues that are still present today as a result of this ongoing legacy. In essence this project to me is a way of understanding how the past is prologue to the present, and how the present is an opportunity to create a better future, one that is need specially when it comes to racial injustice and racial issues both in regards to Kean University and throughout the United States.
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.
Too often we take up history courses where we sit down and have a professor give us lectures; it is no longer the case with a class like this African American course. The main focus of this course is a project in which we are to create a tour of the Kean University campus while highlighting the history of black life at this university. This is a project that will require us to be archivists, researchers, historians, and guides. The ironic thing is, as a student of history, I rarely delve into the history of Kean University. With this project, I have the chance to enrich myself with knowledge of the campus’s history. I will immerse myself into the earliest days of our school’s history from the American Revolution, to Newark State teacher’s College, and onto the present. I will also gain an understanding of how Black lives helped to shape our school. With my group, we will be doing research on many various topics regarding black life at Kean University. We are tasked with highlighting topics such as notable alumni, black faculty, and institutional problems. Through research we will able able to discover Black individuals who attended and graduated from Kean University who were noted and celebrated for their mark on society. We all have Black professors who are providing the knowledge and information necessary for us to become better students. As another group topic, we will be going back through the history of Kean University and researching the Black faculty that have lent their skills to the advancement of higher education. I hope that with our research, me and my group will be able to provide a rich learning experience into the rich history of Black life at Kean University.
As a member of the class of History of Black America and a student of Kean University it is my goal and drive to learn about African American student lives here at Kean throughout the years. However, to be more specific it would be lovely to expand the spectrum and learn the communication patterns and relationship between black Americans and black immigrants. It will be interesting to find out if their relationship was cohesive. Furthering knowing if there were divisions and tensions among the different immigrant groups? Also knowing if there were hostilities between black Americans and black immigrants? Or was there a specific black immigrant group black Americans could not get along with? The findings at the width of the library which contains books, digital magazines, and journals with saturated information I cannot wait to explore. So with this I ask:
Today we stand together
But as it always been our truth
Black, Gold, Orange, and Yellow
It does not matter the color
We are a diverse matter
Who is who?
The accent comes through
So we get along
We fight together
Black lives matter
As that always been the truth
It is my goal to find out
Did you ride together?
The Library speaks the certainty
Skipping through the pages
I hope floating to the eyes
Is the reality
Research is the next step
This is what I expect
It has been reflected
Black Lives Matter now
But how about back then
Did Black Lives get together?
As a Kean student, my focus is getting my assignments done, passing my classes, and keeping my GPA on tract. I never once thought about the history of Kean University….. Until it was made a subject in my history class. The combination of slavery and Kean never crossed my mind. However, it is mind blowing to learn that there is a link between the two subjects. The branches of Kean University’s history extends very far. Kean University was founded in 1855 in Newark, New Jersey, as the Newark Normal School. Initially established for the exclusive purpose of being a teacher-education college it became New Jersey State Teachers College in 1937. Presently, New Jersey State Teachers College is now Technology High School on Broadway Ave in Belleville which is a land mark I drive pass EVERYDAY. I look forward to doing more research on this facility especially since it is so close to home. I now look at Kean University and my community in another light.