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Black History Month

Black History Month 2021

This is the homepage for all things Black History Month.

The campus events. Student stories. True tales of graduates who advanced the cause of racial justice and deepened our understanding of God’s relationship with humankind. In continuing the Multicultural Initiative Office’s tradition of highlighting a different country during each heritage month, Gordon also celebrates the Republic of Haiti. Haiti was chosen because it is the birthplace of several of Gordon’s international and domestic students—and the birthplace of more than a million Haitian Americans and their ancestors. 

African Proverb of the Week

Over the course of his life, Kenyan-born Christian philosopher John Mbiti ’57B collected more than 12,000 African proverbs, which can be found in the appendix of his book Introduction to African Religion. Here, we will share a new proverb from his collection every week.  

If God dishes you rice in a basket, do not wish to eat soup! (Sierra Leone)​

Historical Figure of the Week

John Mbiti

Lydie ’58B and Jean Claude (Clyde) Noel ’57B

The Noels met at Barrington College (which later merged with Gordon in the 80s). They were both international students from Haiti. Upon graduation, they moved to Port au Prince where Clyde began his work for the Evangelical Association of Haitian Churches. Lydie would often accompany him to his downtown office. When she did, Clyde said, “She started seeing the women in the streets . . . with babies in their hands, begging and others trying to find jobs.” It didn’t take long before Lydie “started inviting these people in the streets to come into our office,” said Clyde (Partners with Haiti, “Lydie’s Vision—AFCA Village,” YouTube video, 0:55­–1:38, January 20, 2018).

From then on, it became her mission to feed them, start schools for their children and build a neighborhood that would give them access to affordable housing. So in 1981, Clyde founded Partners with Haiti, the umbrella organization for all of their ministries. Together, they built churches, schools, medical and dental clinics, homes, an orphanage and a vocational center. 

For 60 years, they worked hard to meet the most pressing needs of those living in underserved regions of Haiti. And today their legacy lives on through their countless ministries and the school feeding program that provides nutritious meals to nearly 500 children every weekday—so that hunger doesn’t interfere with a student’s ability to learn and study.

Campus Events

February 1 African American History lecture with Mr. L-Mani Viney
February 3  Poetry reading during Chapel
February 8 African Heritage Month lecture (more details to come)
February 10 Musical performance during Chapel
February 12 MLK Convocation: Dr. Marla Frederick, world-class anthropologist and president of the American Academy of Religion
February 15 Caribbean Heritage Month lecture (more details to come)
February 16 Dear Neighbor: Resilience, Coping and Social Justice in the Black Community
February 17 Spoken Word recitation during Chapel 
February 19

Conversation with the President featuring Kay Coles James who has served four U.S. presidents and is the president of the No. 1 think tank in the world for its impact on public policy

February 22 Student-led worship (via the Chapel livestream)
February 24 Dance during Chapel
February 25 Jemar Tisby: author, speaker and president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective  |  4:45-6 p.m., Virtual
February 26 Convocation: Jemar Tisby: author, speaker and president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective
February 27 A.F.R.O. Hamwe Fashion Show
TBD Alanna event: “I am not your [blank]”
TBD College Choir virtually performs African-American spiritual “Steal Away” featuring soloist Emery Stephens ’07

*Be sure to check out the Black History Month book display in Jenks Library, showcasing memoirs, biographies and novels by N.K. Jemisin, Michelle Obama, Yaa Gyasi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Frederick Douglass and more. And see the “Taste of the Black Diaspora” display in Lane Student Center.  

Bell Stories

Continued Celebration

MARCH 12: Dr. Anthony Bradley: professor of religious studies and director of the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at The King's College, and research fellow at The Acton Institute.

Follow along on Social 

To join in the festivities and enjoy more Black History Month content, be sure to follow Gordon on 

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