Black History Month at Graceland University

28 Shades of Black presented by BSU: Diane Nash

Marietta Walker dreamed of a college that was open to “all who wished to enter.” From its very beginning in 1895, Graceland has been an inclusive community where all are welcome. With Walker’s hope for a college for all people, Graceland has become a place where diversity is celebrated.


February was Black History Month, and Graceland’s Black Student Union (BSU) took the lead. BSU published “28 Shades of Black,” offering selected historical figures who have inspired members of the Lamoni-campus organization – one highlighted story for each day of February. A timeline graphic titled “Black History Month” with important historical markers from 1619 to 2013 was printed and distributed around campus by Peer Diversity Educators, an initiative sponsored by Residence Life. Professor Tim Robbins headed up the Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon – making historical records more accessible, recording 19th century black history in conjunction with a national effort. Also, there was a viewing of the PBS documentary "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" with a discussion following, as well as a capstone week.


Black Week, Feb. 19-23, featuring:

  • BSU “takeover” KBUZ radio station with interviews, discussions and music
  • Discussion on racism in America: then versus now
  • Documentary, “I’m Not Your Negro”
  • Art showcase around the theme of black history, included “Don’t Touch My Hair” exhibit
  • Guest Speaker LeNorris Wilson