Angel Jewel Tucker, a librarian from Kansas City, spoke at Pitt State about racial issues in real estate. The event took place on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m. in the Overman Student Center as part of the Black History month activities put on by the Black Student Association (BSA). Tucker spoke about a project she helped start through her library in Kansas City.
“Race Project is an annual social justice initiative that brings high school students and college students together to talk through racial politics in Kansas City, how our neighborhoods and schools are impacted by racial politics,” Tucker said. “It’s about building relationships through dialogue, it’s about sharing personal truths and stories about stereotypes.”
The Race Project focuses on the history of racism and segregation and how it still affects cities, schools and housing.
“I think it’s important to understand how it began, but I think it’s also important to understand what we can do to educate our new generation, our new high schoolers, our new college students… because they still have years to understand and how to grasp this idea of living with other community members,” said Hector Peña senior in automotive technology and President of Hispanics of Today (HOT) said.
Tucker spoke about issues such as racially restrictive covenants, blockbusting and redlining-all issues that racially affect housing.
“I think just knowing the history of racially restrictive covenants, blockbusting and redlining, and being willing to be able to have conversations about history with people that may think differently than you, [if] we only function in rooms where we’re all the same, we’re not building any bridges, and understanding that history is truth, and we don’t have to debate history we can just learn that history, and being willing to come center and be present and share your personal truth as it relates to history,” Tucker said.
The event was interactive and challenged students to talk to each other and answer questions.
“If you don’t challenge that first idea of saying, ‘Hey, can I sit down with you, can we have a little talk?’ or anything like that then you will never know, so if you never ask a question you will never have an answer,” Peña said.
The Office of Student Diversity invited Tucker to speak after seeing her speak at a conference.
“When you think about our strategic initiatives here at PSU, and some of…our core values we talk about being diversely sound, we talk about making sure we are educating our community about diversity, and I think it’s important for students to understand that the world is bigger than Pittsburg, Kansas,” said Deatrea Rose, Director of Student Diversity.
Tucker spoke as part of Black History month activities put on the BSA.
“I’m just super appreciative that we have had a really good turnout for the entirety of Black History month for all the different initiatives that we’ve done on campus,” Rose said. “They’ve been really well attended; the community has been really responsive and that is something to be grateful for.”