February is a short month packed with many significant holidays. From Valentine’s Day to President’s Day there is a lot to celebrate. It is the time to recognize and honor the achievements of African Americans in U.S. History. Black History Month is the whole duration of the Month of February.
An exhibit is displayed on the first floor of Huie Library commemorating impactful African Americans in Henderson State University history. The exhibit consisted of two glass cases filled with photographs and information of important African American members of Henderson State University. Two alumnae being recognized were Maurice Horton and John Taylor. Maurice Horton was the first African American student to graduate from Henderson State University after transferring from The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. While John Taylor was the first four-year graduate from the University. The cases also include information about prominent athletes at the time such as football players Joe Smith and Robert Thomas. Thomas is Henderson’s all-time tackle leader and Smith made the All-AIC team with 1,409 rushing yards. Both of these amazing athletes went on to play in the NFL. Joe Smith for the Cleveland Browns and Robert Thomas for the Dallas Cowboys.
The exhibit not only displays information about former students but also staff and faculty members such as Virginia Smith, Paul Stein, and Minnie Rogers. Virginia Smith was the first African American staff member at Henderson. Smith was the Assistant Dean of Women and sponsored Delta Sigma Theta during her time at the University. Paul Stein was the university’s first African American faculty member. He was an instructor of mathematics at Henderson. Dr. Minnie Rogers became the university’s first African American professor in 1972.
The exhibit will be up for the duration of Black History Month. Everyone can view the Black History Month exhibit in Huie Library in the glass cabinets behind Computer Lab A.