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February 23, 2018

African-American History Month Spotlight: First CWRU Black History Week

In February 1969 the Afro-American Society sponsored the first Black History Week at CWRU. It was entitled, “Black Renaissance Week” and was held 2/9-2/15/1969. Students Stephane Tubbs and Mike Sutton were co-chairs who planned the activities. As reported in the Reserve Tribune, Michael Fisher was the advisor for the project and defined it as “one week of black cultural and educational programs open to anyone who’s willing to take the time and opportunity to learn.” Stephanie Tubbs said, “It’s one of the ways we plan to bring the black community and the University closer together.” Black History Week at CWRU originated as one of the demands presented to President Morse in December of 1968 by the Afro-American Society.

The week opened on Sunday afternoon, 2/9, with a showing of original African-inspired fashions designed by Black Sisters United in the Thwing ballroom. Roy Innis, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) spoke that night in Strosacker Auditorium.

Events from the week included:
Monday, 2/10: The Lee Park Players presented excerpts from An Evening with Norman Jorden, “exploring the black revolution and the black man in the past” in the Thwing ballroom.
Monday, 2/10: United Black Artists followed the Lee Park Players with a live jazz offering.

Tuesday, 2/11: A seminar on education was held in the Tomlinson Hall ballroom. Speakers and their topics were: Don Freeman, director of the Lee Park Settlement and a graduate of CWRU, “Educational Revolution: Theory and Practice;” Robert Hampton, assistant manager of Cedar apartments and formerly a professor at Central State University, “Education: What is it?”; and William Pickard, executive director of the Cleveland NAACP, “The Role of the Black Student.”
Tuesday, 2/11: United Black Artists presented cosmic music and black poetry. The Black Unity Trio (also known as Bismilla Hir Rahman Nir Raheem) performed the music. They also provided background music as Amjeba Nbomba read his poetry. In addition, "Eight black dramatists read poetry selections from the writings of Margaret Walker, Norman Johnson, and Charles Langford, a student at John Hay High School.”

Wednesday 2/12: a program of gospel music was presented by Marion Williams of Philadelphia in Strosacker Auditorium at 7 p.m. the audience gave her 5 standing ovations during the performance. The singer performed 3 encores and led the audience in a sing-along.

Thursday, 2/13: a poetry presentation was made by the Watts Writers Poetry Group in Hatch Auditorium at 8 p.m. The Watts Writers Workshop was founded after the Watts riots of 1965 and was on a Midwestern tour. Members included Bill Jackson, James Jackson, Sonorra McKeller, Lillian Tarry, Quincy Troupe, and tour coordinator Charles Thomas.

Friday, 2/14: a Soul Dinner was held in Leutner Commons at 5 p.m. After the dinner, Alton X (formerly known as Alton Patterson), head of Black Student Union of Central State University, spoke about the Black renaissance.

Saturday, 2/15: a seminar entitled, Economics in the Black Community, was held in Hatch Auditorium at 3 p.m. The speakers were Deane Buchanan of the Black Economic Union, Frank Anderson of the Hough Development Corporation, and Cyril Winters of the CORE Target City Cleveland project.
Saturday, 2/15: to close out the week, a concert, called the Soul Symposium, was held in Adelbert Gym. It featured the O’Jays with opening act New Directions. This was the only event of the week which had an admission charge - $2.50.

Coverage of the events appeared in the Reserve Tribune (2/7/1969, 2/11/1969, 2/14/1969, 2/18/1969, 2/21/1969) and Case Tech (2/14/1969) student newspapers.

You can read past blog entries about African-American history at Case Western Reserve University from 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011.

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February 01, 2018

On This Day in CWRU History: February

Below is month eight of our list of significant dates in CWRU’s history. The list is not comprehensive and we invite suggestions of other dates to include.


February 2
1987 EUCLID, the combined catalogs for all campus libraries, went on-line. Terminals were available in all the libraries and it was hoped that dial-in access would be available soon.
1989 Blues artist, Robert Lockwood, Jr., performed at The Spot in Leutner Commons.

February 3
1974 Blues musician Bonnie Raitt played a benefit concert at Strosacker Auditorium. The concert was a fundraiser for the Indochina Peace Campaign, which opposed the U. S. war in Vietnam.

February 4
1891 Charles F. Thwing was inaugurated as Western Reserve University's sixth president.
1904 Western Reserve University's first weekly student newspaper, Reserve Weekly, was published.
1910 Case School of Applied Science defeated Western Reserve University in each school's first intercollegiate varsity hockey game, 2-0.
1987 Longtime Case Institute of Technology and CWRU basketball coach Bill Sudeck notched his 200th career win. CWRU defeated Oberlin College, 80-78, at Emerson Gym.
1999 Poland's former president and Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa, visited CWRU's College Scholars House.

February 5
1990 Fred Gray, an attorney who defended Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, was the keynote speaker at CWRU's celebration of Black History Month. Gray was a 1954 graduate of the CWRU School of Law.

Desktop computers, 1983

February 6
1985 An 8-member task force was appointed to study CWRU's voice communications and computing needs for the next decade. According to Donald Schuele, the chairman, "Eventually a computer will be as commonplace on each worker's desk as a telephone is today."
1998 CWRU held its first indoor track meet at the Veale Center.

February 7
1826 The State of Ohio granted the charter to establish Western Reserve College. Happy Birthday, CWRU!

February 8
1968 Future U.S. president Gerald Ford spoke at Strosacker Auditorium, giving a lecture entitled "The American Political Scene."
1980 CWRU Trustees named the School of Management in honor of the Weatherhead family.
1992 The topping-off ceremony was held for the Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building.

February 9
1831 Charles B. Storrs was inaugurated as Western Reserve College's first president.
1929 Case School of Applied Science lost to Western Reserve University in Case's first varsity wrestling tournament, 21-13.
1973 CWRU Trustees renamed the Consolidated Colleges of Adelbert, Flora Stone Mather, and Cleveland Colleges as Western Reserve College.

February 10
1957 Thwing Hall was formally opened as the new Western Reserve University student union. It previously housed WRU's University Library.

February 11
1981 CWRU Trustees renamed the School of Library Science in honor of Matthew A. Baxter.
1995 At Thwing Ballroom, CWRU's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance held its first "Lavender Ball."

February 14
1955 From the basement of the Mather Memorial Building, Western Reserve University's student radio station, WRAR-AM, went on the air for the first time.
1997 As reported by The Observer, a new cable movie channel was created for CWRUVideo by the Residence Hall Association and the Office of Residence and Housing Life.

February 15
1915 As reported by the Case School of Applied Science student newspaper, Case Tech, the Master Masons Clubs of Case and Western Reserve University merged. Having 33 members, the merged club was called the "Reserve - Case Masonic Club."
1968 Community organizer Saul Alinsky spoke to an overflow crowd at Harkness Chapel on “The Mechanics of Mass Organization.”
1969 Afro-American Society sponsored week-long Black Renaissance Week, CWRU’s first Black History Week celebration.
1974 Southern rockers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, performed at a sold out Adelbert Gym concert. Country singer Charlie Daniels opened. Tickets were $5.

February 16
1866 Allen Campbell Barrows, a graduate of Western Reserve College 1861, was the first alumnus to hold a professorship at the College. He was named to the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
2000 Jody Williams, the 1997 Nobel Laureate for Peace, spoke at Thwing Center Ballroom. Williams won the Nobel Prize for her work to ban landmines.

February 21
1967 Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the Carlton Road dormitory complex.

February 23
1844 The State of Ohio amended Western Reserve College's charter to allow the School to establish a medical department.

February 24
1894 The Alumnae Association of the College for Women (renamed Flora Stone Mather College in 1931) was established. Emily C. Monck, Class of 1893, was elected as the association's first president.
1971 The first Case Western Reserve University football banquet was held. Only desert was served, with money saved donated to aid families of Marshall University football players killed in a plane crash in November 1970.
1932 Western Reserve University established a chapter of the Society of Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific society.

February 25
1971 The rock band, the Allman Brothers Band, performed at Emerson Gym.

February 26
1967 WRUW-FM 91.1 began its first broadcast. It replaced WRAR-AM as the University's radio station.

February 27
1912 As reported by the Case School of Applied Science newspaper, Case Tech, the Case Wireless Club was recently established. Organized by students, its purpose was to "construct a wireless telegraph station for the study and practice of wireless telegraphy."

February 28
1894 According to the 1894/95 annual report and the 1894 Commencement program, the first Dental School graduates received the Doctor of Dental Surgery on 2/28/1894. The graduates were Carl A.H. Anderson, George Otis De Urfae, Hugh Burt Mitchell, and John F.H. Riggs.

On This Day in CWRU HIstory: July
On This Day in CWRU HIstory: August
On This Day in CWRU History: September
On This Day in CWRU History: October
On This Day in CWRU History: November
On This Day in CWRU History: December
On This Day in CWRU History: January

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