The Woodson Lyceum has been helping educators integrate Black history into school curricula since 2016 and serves as a forum that provides opportunities to address this and other education issues, including race and a free press, in ways inspired by Woodson’s teachings. Woodson was a Huntington educator and West Virginia coal miner who is recognized as the Father of Black History.
The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University kicked off Black History Month Friday with a special online event featuring guest speaker Dr. Teresa Eagle, dean of Marshall’s College of Education and Professional Development and a former schoolteacher. The virtual event also included the unveiling of the 2022 Black History Poster Competition winners and announced the 2022 Teachers Institute for Black History, which is supported through a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council and will welcome teachers in June.
The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum and Marshall’s Center for African American Students have several events planned this year in recognition of Black History Month, ranging from lectures to dramatic readings to tours of Huntington’s Black history, cooking demonstrations, genealogy workshops, the Ebony Ball and much more.
Among the many activities are the Annual Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lecture on Feb. 18, supported by the Drinko Academy. The topic is “Understanding Tulsa.” John W. Franklin will discuss the papers of his grandfather, Buck Franklin, a prominent lawyer who represented survivors of the “Black Wall Street” massacre in the 1920s.
On Feb. 21, Dr. William Turner will discuss “The Appalachian Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.” Turner is an author and diversity consultant, and retired distinguished professor of Black and Appalachian studies from Berea College.
Set for Feb 25 is “Black Physicians in the Union Army in the War of the Rebellion,” a discussion with Dr. Esly Caldwell, a Cincinnati physician and researcher. Dr. Leonard White, a physician and assistant dean of the Marshall University School of Medicine, also will discuss concerns about local residents’ health and wellness.
A full list of activities is at www.marshall.edu/blackhistorymonth.
Poster contest winners:
The topic of this year’s Black History Poster Competition was Black Health and Wellness. The official first place winner received a $200 prize, with K-12 winners receiving $100 prizes, and their teachers getting $50 prizes.
Eagle, a former high school math teacher, reminded the student winners of the art competition of how they can impact those around them. “My challenge to you is to think clearly about what you do, think, believe and what you’re passionate about and put that out there in how you behave, the things that you do, the work that you turn in, the pictures you draw, the way that you talk with your friends or your teachers or your parents,” she said. “You never know how something you do or say or think is going to make someone kinder, be more understanding of the world around them or the problems that other people have, or motivate them to do something that will make a difference in the world, and it started with you.” Marshall University President Brad D. Smith celebrated with the students as well. “I am excited to see the art and creativity that you have brought forth today, and I’m excited about the theme,” Smith told the student winners. “It reminds us not only of what has happened in the past, but what is possible in the future.“… I’m a big believer in what we’re doing now and what we’re celebrating this month because if not for all the amazing men and women that we celebrate during Black History Month, we would not be the school we are, we would not be the nation we are, we would not be the world we are.”