By Haley Bartlett, Staff Writer –
On Feb. 13, the InterVarsity group on campus held a discussion revolved around black history and its ties around Christianity.
Jamal Morris, leader of InterVarsity, said the group started out looking at each era and its relation to Christianity.
“We started out looking at every era, looking at the pros, cons and blind spots and how it relates to Christianity,” he said.
Morris lead the discussion focused on how African Americans view themselves as well as Christianity through time. He went through PowerPoint slides looking at historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner, showing how they took on the problems of their time.
Cierra Potter, a freshman from Nashville, Tennessee, said its important for people to learn the history of African Americans.
“Talks like these are important because we see a lot of things left out of education like history criteria,” she said.
Morris continued to discuss the phenomenon of the “Negro Problem” that began with the end of slavery. He taught about different discriminatory acts like the Black Codes of 1865.
Morris said that with discrimination came the question for many African Americans on whether Christianity was meant for just one group and not or them. With this issue, the discussion moved towards more advocates for civil rights with figures like Marcus Garvey and W.E.B Dubois.
Morris said that he focused heavily on images and how big of a deal they are.
“The dominant image black people wanted was to be well read back in this time,” he said, “I want them to see scripture differently. Images are more powerful than information.”
Twice throughout the event, students broke into small groups to discuss questions pertaining to the lesson. One of those was the discussion of what the “Negro Problem” of today is. Many students gave examples of racial profiling and still being segregated even if not falling within the stereotype.
Kaylon Bernard, a freshman from Memphis, Tennessee, said the discussion brings awareness to the harshness in the black community.
“It’s good to educate people and bring awareness. A lot of issues in the black community go unnoticed,” she said.