Morris Library exhibit features Black History Month

By Gus Bode

Dubois theme highlights variety of black cultures

Factoid:For more information about an exhibit or to submit an application to display a collection, contact Chris Desai at 453-1448, or Sherry DesJardins at 453-2258.

A poster of W.E.B. Dubois hangs in a display case in the Hall of Presidents in Morris Library to promote “The Souls of Black Folk,” one of the writer’s books, as the theme for this year’s Black History Month.


Carl Ervin, student development coordinator, created the exhibit and included magazines, books, videos, and pictures that show the culture of black Americans for Black History Month.

“This really seems to reach out and get people’s attention,” he said. “We wanted a representative to show different ages and show the diversity within the culture.”

Photographs of students accompany numerous signed press photos of famous persons who have ventured to SIUC.

“Those are people who have visited SIUC in the past and we wanted to let students know about the diversity that has been on campus,” Ervin said. “We have some photos of current students to show that it’s more than just historic people.”

Chris Desai, co-chair of the Morris Library exhibit cases, said the Black History Month exhibit is visually appealing and does a good job of educating the public about events that are going on for this month.

“The fact that he had all the events for the month up was great,” she said. “It’s usually worth their time to stop and read things in the exhibits.”

The next events occur on Thursday, and include a brown bag discussion on “To be or not to be black,” with Kevin Cokley, assistant professor of psychology, and a film and discussion on “Ashes and Embers” with Hailie Gerima, an independent filmmaker from Howard University.


Ervin also used one of Instructional Support Services graphic artists to clearly label the display and create a life-size calendar highlighting events. It took him a few days to come up with the items for the display and another few hours to set it up.

The space in Morris is open to anyone and exhibitors are welcome to use any of the library’s resources. Sherry DesJardins, exhibit committee co-chair, has helped with the exhibits for four years and continues to enjoy her position.

“I have not tired of the personal satisfaction and fulfillment felt when exhibitors experience their ideas transformed from drawing board sketches into professional aesthetically pleasing displays,” she said. “I encourage the SIU community to take advantage of this unique opportunity to inform and educate the public about their organizations, activities and collections.”

Ervin will also present an exhibit on Asian-American Awareness Month in April.

Reporter Lindsey J. Mastis can be reached at [email protected]