Black History Month Event Dale Mabry Campus 2-15-12
The Dale Mabry campus celebrated Black History Month with a spectacular foray into the life of Dr. Mary McCloud Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman College, now Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. Founded in 1904 as the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for girls, it merged with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida for boys in 1923 and became a co-ed high school.
The presenter of the “reincarnation” of Dr. Bethune was done by Ersula Knox Odom who transformed herself into the educator and she talked with the audience from a 1954 perspective. The students and staff were captivated by the performance and Ms. Odom, as Dr. Bethune, fielded questions from the audience. She started the talk with a cheer because the U. S. Supreme had just overturned Plessey vs. Ferguson which effectively ended “separate but equal” in America. In fact, Mrs. Bethune took the opportunity to defend the court’s decision by writing her opinion in the Chicago Defender in 1954…she said:
There can be no divided democracy, no class government, no half-free country, under the constitution. Therefore, there can be no discrimination, no segregation, no separation of some citizens from the rights which belong to all... We are on our way. But these are frontiers which we must conquer... We must gain full equality in education the franchise... in economic opportunity, and full equality in the abundance of life.
The programme was enjoyed by all and Ms. Carolyn Curtis was chairperson for the programme. Faculty members Darryl Myles, Ken McCullough and Greg Miller were on the committee as well as Sharon Thompson who is on staff in the Learning Resource Center. Special thanks to Dr. Bob Chunn for introducing the programme and Nikki Arce who photographed the event.
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