Our Shared History

Our Shared History

Our Shared History

“Black history gives us examples of incredible ingenuity and creativity and the ability to imagine a future that is greater than the sum of our past.”
—Brandon Parry, BA ’14, FIG Advisor

“Black history gives us examples of incredible ingenuity and creativity and the ability to imagine a future that is greater than the sum of our past.”
—Brandon Parry, BA ’14, FIG Advisor

“Black history gives us examples of incredible ingenuity and creativity and the ability to imagine a future that is greater than the sum of our past.”
—Brandon Parry, BA ’14, FIG Advisor


Throughout the month of February, the University of Oregon joins the nation in celebrating African-American history and the key role it has played in United States history. Several Ducks discuss what Black History Month means to them, how far African-Americans have come despite their oppression, how much further we still need to go for equality, and how black culture, black history and the black experience are an integral part of American history.

 
 
 
“Black History Month is a good reminder of where we’ve been, but it is also a good reminder of where we could go. The people before me set the foundation for me to do this, so what can I do to continue the progress, to continue the love, the support, and the strength that we exemplify as black people. How do I implement that into my life? And how do I push that onto other black people?”
—Keera Stephen, Class of 2018
 
Keera Stephen
“Black History Month is a good reminder of where we’ve been, but it is also a good reminder of where we could go. The people before me set the foundation for me to do this, so what can I do to continue the progress, to continue the love, the support, and the strength that we exemplify as black people. How do I implement that into my life? And how do I push that onto other black people?”
—Keera Stephen, Class of 2018
 
Mabel Byrd with UO President Arnold Bennett Hall and alumni in New York City in 1926
Mabel Byrd
How the UO's first African-American student (center) became a key early civil rights figure, collaborating with national leaders like W.E.B. DuBois to promote greater equality for non-whites.
 

 

 

 
 
“To prospective students, come here and be the change. Be something that’s important at this university. You have the talents. You need to use them.”
—Drake Hills, Class of 2018
 
Drake Hills
“To prospective students, come here and be the change. Be something that’s important at this university. You have the talents. You need to use them.”
—Drake Hills, Class of 2018
 
Brandon Parry

“Black History Month is a time that we can recognize very important parts of American history that don’t get recognized often enough in our education, in our school system, in our history books. It’s a chance to reflect on where we come from as a nation, where we’re at as a nation and where we want to go as a nation.”

—Brandon Parry, BA '14, FIG Advisor

Justin Jeffers

“It’s really a whole month of celebrating a culture that has been oppressed. I think it’s important and I think it’s something that if we do it correctly can really bring a lot of good subjects to the table at a time, like right now, that really need to be talked about.”

—Justin Jeffers, Class of 2017

 
 
 
“There’s been a lot of struggles with race in the past and very recently, but it’s nice to see that people can recognize the good that we as black people have done with music, with entertainment, with politics, with science, with everything. That black culture is American culture.”
—Ashanna Molokwu, Class of 2020
 
Ashanna Molokwu
“There’s been a lot of struggles with race in the past and very recently, but it’s nice to see that people can recognize the good that we as black people have done with music, with entertainment, with politics, with science, with everything. That black culture is American culture.”
—Ashanna Molokwu, Class of 2020
 
Chris Holloway

“I’m an avid believer that if you want to make something happen, you have to take responsibility upon yourself and go make that change.”

—Chris Holloway, Class of 2018

August Jefferson

“A mentor I had in the past once told me to ‘teach one and reach one.’ I had to look for someone who would bring me up and instill in me the skills that I need while I also need to go back and bring as many people as I can along with me.”

—August Jefferson, Class of 2018

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
“I like to take this moment to celebrate those slave ancestors who really created something out of nothing. These unsung heroes, if you will, like the everyday people who helped build the foundation of African-American culture in the United States.”
—Charise Cheney, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies
 
Ethnic Studies Associate Professor Charise Cheney
“I like to take this moment to celebrate those slave ancestors who really created something out of nothing. These unsung heroes, if you will, like the everyday people who helped build the foundation of African-American culture in the United States.”
—Charise Cheney, Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies
 
Cameron Lewis

“I’ve never wanted to be anything but black. I’m thankful for that. I understand that these experiences that I go through in being black in these different situations is what makes me the person I am today.”

Cameron Lewis, Class of 2020

Dyuce Woodson

“For me, how we can celebrate Black History Month is by recognizing the very small African-American community that we have on campus and being aware that black people are more than just athletes or singers or any type of entertainer.”

Dyuce Woodson, Class of 2017

 
 
 
“It’s a time to celebrate my culture, half of my culture, and to really appreciate the people in my past who have gotten me to where I am today.”
—Justin Jeffers, Class of 2017
 
Justin Jeffers
“It’s a time to celebrate my culture, half of my culture, and to really appreciate the people in my past who have gotten me to where I am today.”
—Justin Jeffers, Class of 2017
 
Kiana Roper

“When I think of black history I think of all the classes I’ve taken from sociology to ethnic studies and the people we’ve learned about that haven’t always had the spotlight when it comes to main black civil rights activists. ”

Kiana Roper, Class of 2017

Cameron Lewis

“When I walk into a room it’s not just I’m the only black person in the room – I’ve never looked at it or thought about it that way – I’m just as equal and well prepared for any situation as the next man regardless of his skin color. And that’s what black history is to me. The ability to be comfortable in your skin, love who you are and be who you are, and be true to yourself.”

Cameron Lewis, Class of 2020

 
 
“You should always be aware of history in general. Whether it’s black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever. There’s more history out there than white American history.”
—Dyuce Woodson, Class of 2017
 
Dyuce Woodson
“You should always be aware of history in general. Whether it’s black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever. There’s more history out there than white American history.”
—Dyuce Woodson, Class of 2017