Former professor to speak on race at GSU discussion

F. Erik Brooks

Kaitlyn Glenn

Every February Black History Month is celebrated across the nation and Georgia Southern University is hosting a critically acclaimed historic author as its Black History Month Diversity Speaker.

F. Erik Brooks will be speaking about his 2006 book, “Pursuing A Promise: A History Of African Americans At Georgia Southern University.” The book tells the story about the defeats, victories and struggles faced by African Americans while integrating school systems in the South and specifically at GSU.

Race is still considered a major issue at GSU and the South as a whole.

“I think they will learn about their history, learn about the African Americans who attended Georgia Southern before them, and they’ll also get a clear understanding of how far the university has come in regards to race relations,” Brooks said.

Barron Dixon, a sophomore psychology major, brought up the recent issue with one of the establishments in the plaza putting up the sign “The Plantation Room,” which created racial tension in the Statesboro community.

“It’s important to have conversations about the race issues on campus so people can be aware of it,” Dixon said.

Brooks served as the assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and associate professor at GSU. Brooks also taught classes in the Africana Studies program before being appointed chair of the Western Illinois University African American studies department.

Brooks was inspired to write the book while working at GSU when the university’s 100th anniversary was approaching. He realized that there was not much that celebrated the contributions made by African Americans, so he set out to document and compile all of his findings.

The discussion will be held tonight in the Russell Union Ballroom from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Brooks said, “They’ll get a chance to appreciate and embrace the African-American experience at Georgia Southern.”