AAA to educate about African-American history


Chynna Miller

Isis Sims, a junior kinesiology and sports studies major, responds to watching the short film by Reggie Bullock, a motivation speaker, entitled ‘A War For Your Soul- Birmingham Version’. “It’s depressing to see how accurate this is,” Sims said, “we really are killing each other.”

T'Nerra Butler, Multicultural Editor

A new Registered Student Organization geared toward furthering the knowledge of African-American history has been established on campus.

African-American Achievers was founded this fall by its president, Corinthian Bethel.

He has been mapping out the organization for the last couple of years and put his ideas to work recently.

Bethel said it took him about a month to put a proposal together for student government and he was able to get in up and running with the first official meeting for the organization being October 13.

What the RSO hopes to do is take part in scholarly discussions relevant to the African-American community and those of African descent, Bethel said.

“We do hope to go to conferences and seminars to help actually better educate us as students of color here at Eastern,” Bethel said.

Bethel said he saw the need for students, faculty and staff to have an understanding of African-American studies. He said he wants to have open discussions beyond what is taught in the classrooms.

The organization is supposed to be an educational one, not social by any means.

“It’s all about learning and enhancing our knowledge in the area of African-American studies,” Bethel said.

Bethel said African-American studies are his passion and he does not take it lightly. He said some students like to get on boards just to say they are a part of something. Students need to dig deeper than their discussions, Bethel said.

“I think that this organization is unique because or its straight educational aspect,” Bethel said. “There’s nothing social about it, and that’s one of the things I think that separates us from the other organizations.”

Keithara Baker, a graduate assistant in the gateway program, said the RSO we implemented to talk about African-American achievers from the past to the present. She said this organization would fulfill the need of awareness on campus.

Baker said many students are unaware of the true African-American history. She said African-American Achievers is going to especially help freshmen whom were falsely taught about the past.

“Some high schools teach you basic things out of their textbooks that aren’t true, “ Baker said. “When I first learned about Christopher Columbus, I was not aware of how bad he truly was.”

Baker said the false information goes back to elementary school. She said the organization would be beneficial to not only students, but also anyone else who is not educated about the history of African-Americans.

“I didn’t know what I know now about the Native Americans slaves which led to African-American slaves,” Baker said. “They don’t tell you that, it’s like they water it down.”

This organization serves as another place for minorities to go and educate themselves as well as discuss issues they may face, Baker said.

“I’m here as a shoulder to lean on and if (Bethel) needs advice from me of course he’ll ask me or if he just needs a resource I’m here,” Baker said.

Bethel said usually when a RSO is new the president pushes for it to become a big organization. He said he is hoping for it to stay small for intimate conversations.

“The intimate setting provides the confidence to open up,” Baker said. “If you have a big crowd al lot of people might be afraid to open up and talk.”

African American Achievers meets biweekly on Tuesdays. Bethel said right now the locations for the meetings will vary so students can reach him via email for more information.


T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]