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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

We Are One

Kesho Scott, Associate Professor of American Studies and Sociology, speaks during the “We Are One” dinner run by Grinnell’s NAACP chapter and the African Caribbean Student Union. Scott discussed the experience of those descended from Africa.

Photograph by Roni Finkelstein.

“We are one,” she said, “because we were created from the circumstances of the past.”

The goal of the catered dinner, open to anyone on campus, was to start a dialogue between students of all races about the African-American experience.

“We are one because we’re in the same boat and we’re not going to get anywhere in that boat if we don’t get in helm of that boat and direct it using our interracial conflicts to birth our possibilities,” Scott said.

A diverse group of students and faculty attended and participated in Scott’s presentation. To engage the attendees, Scott used interactive motions to signify the journey that African Americans have taken in America throughout the civil rights movement. Scott also advocated for the creation of a Black studies program at Grinnell.

“Here’s what a Black Studies program would teach you if we had one at Grinnell: We are not culturally homogenous black people, we’re not alike and that’s okay,” she said.

Scott paused several times to allow for open conversations among the students and faculty in attendance about their experiences with race at Grinnell and to talk about their differences. The event culminated with a short speech presented by Cedric Kareem ’15 who thanked attendees and encouraged the continuation of the dialogues birthed at the dinner.

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