A historical analysis of diversity at the SNU – L’écho

[author image=”http://echo.snu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/IMG_2377-150×150.jpg”]

Alina Scott, Staff Photographer
Alina is major in history and minor in English here at SNU. She is originally from Belize, California, and loves to read books, study history, and everything about Abraham Lincoln. She worked as a history tutor in the United States and after her graduate studies she plans to become a history professor at the university. [/author]

Over the past year and a half, college campuses across the United States have started to look into what can be done to close the racial divide. Now the conversation has reached our beloved SNU. In an attempt to better understand what diversity looked like at the SNU and the Nazarene Church over the years, I went to see Corbin Taggart, director of the Fred Floyd Archives. He pointed out to me the wide variety of resources (directories, journals, manuals, etc.) available in the library and archives. From previous readings, I understood that the 1960s was a time of intense social and political tension, with issues regarding the civil rights of African Americans, Chicanos, and LGBT people coming to the forefront of the national debate, so I thought that was a good place to start. . From there I extended it to the 1950s and 1970s, so this article analyzes primary sources from the Fred Floyd archives from 1950 to 1975 as well as articles collected from didache.nazarene.org (a Nazarene online journal at reading committee). In order to make this article more user-friendly, I divided what I found into three categories: political, social, and religious.

Politics
In 1965, Bethany Nazarene College, like many other schools of higher learning receiving funding or financial assistance from the Atomic Energy Commission (a federally sponsored program), quickly adjusted policies that could be considered discriminatory in order to comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which stipulated:
“No person in the United States should, by reason of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or discriminated against in any program. or an activity receiving federal financial assistance. “

The record of this compliance is available on a document entitled “Assurance of Compliance with Atomic Energy Commission Regulations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act 1964” dated September 1, 1965; this compliance was signed by President Roy Cantrell and ensured that the school did not engage in a discriminatory distribution of federal funds and scholarships. Yet BNC needed to be called back. (Letter: Deputy Assistant Director for Administration WR McCauley Jr., United States Atomic Energy Commission. August 26, 1965.) From what I could find, there is no evidence for say that SNU, BNC, etc. students. By all means, he complied with the requirements of the Civil Rights Act. All there is to say is that for some reason the minorities just didn’t go to this school.

Social
There were ups and downs in BNC’s cultural sensitivity. A hollow was the one hundred year period in which the name of our team was “Redskins”. Another happened in 1954, when, against the backdrop of an old colonial mansion, the upper class, guests, and an educational advisor attended a banquet. To the sound of “appropriate black folk music,” members of the blackface student government entertained the attendees. This entertainment consisted of waiters (also in blackface) singing “Carry Me Back to Ole Virginie”, a “color waiter” (in blackface) singing “Ole Man River”, and the educational advisor “imitating Al Jolson, [giving] his interpretation of “Mammy”.

Nonetheless, it still seems that BNC has welcomed diversity into campus life. Although minorities and students of color made up a small fraction of the student body, their presence was definitely felt. Two students of color, Kenneth (Ken) and Lionel Tillett, brothers from British Honduras (now Belize) were heavily involved in campus activities. Lionel, an English major, was a class chaplain (the equivalent of an SGA Campus Ministries officer) from his first year to his final year. He was also recognized in the “Who’s Who” section of the yearbook and journal for his academic achievements and achievement. Ken’s involvement on campus is underscored by his tenure as President of SCOPE, a group of politically minded students who felt the need to form an organization and educate students on international relations issues. . “SCOPE has sought to contribute to the advancement of world peace, based on justice and freedom. (1967 Arrow, p. 284) ”

Other minority students were active and also participating on campus. As noted in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare compliance reports to ensure BNC compliance under the Civil Rights Act 1964, of the 964 full-time undergraduate students at BNC there were only 23 students of color in 1964. (There were two listed as “Negroes”, 6 under “American Indian”, 0 as “Oriental” and 15 under the “Spanish surnamed American” category. . ”) By 1972, this number had increased to 25. (“ 5 American Indians ”,“ 6 Negro ”,“ 0 Oriental ”and“ 14 Spanish surnamed American ”)

Religious
In the 1960s, the Nazarene Church was actively seeking African-American pastors to spread the gospel in Nazarene churches springing up in areas occupied by minorities. For this reason, the Nazarene Bible Institute was created. It was 1948. It was not until 1954 that an African-American, RW Cunningham, was appointed president of the school. This stemmed from the growing number of African American churches springing up in what was, for a period of ten years, officially called the Colored District (CD) and later the Gulf Central District. The CD was formed at the General Assembly to “give closer supervision and assistance to (black) churches”. ST Ludwig was part of the committee that oversaw the affairs of the CD.

In conclusion, all I have to say is this. This semester I’ve heard that the conversation about diversity is about “doing something from scratch” or “it wasn’t a problem until you made it a problem”. However, when we reflect on the story, it seems that the institution was acting within the racial expectations of society rather than aiming better. Personally, while I was here, I would hate to see SNU being guilty of the same things.

The references

Fred Floyd Archives
Arrow. Fred Floyd Archives. (yearbook, 1967) p. 84 180, 255, 284.

Arrow .. Fred Floyd Archives. (yearbook, 1964) p. 176, 246, 303.

“Assurance of Compliance with Atomic Energy Commission Regulations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act 1964”. Fred Floyd Archives. (Form, 1964)

“Black students drop out less.” Echo of the awakening. (Friday, November 25, 1966. P. 10)

“The upper class ‘visit’ the southern plantation.” Echo of the awakening. Friday, November 20, 1953. p. 60.

Winstead, Brandon. “’Evangelizing the Negro”: Segregation, Power and Evangelism in the Church of the Central District of the Gulf of the Nazarene, 1953-1969 ”. Via http://didache.nazarene.org/

“WR McCauley Jr.”, “Letter from the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Fred Floyd Archives. (letter, August 26, 1965.)


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Patrick F. Williams

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