Celebrating Black History Month: Black Iowa News invited Black Iowans to share their feelings about the importance of teaching Black history, voting rights and more — in their own words. Here's the next installment from Quentin Hart, the first African American mayor of Waterloo, who was recently reelected to a fourth term. Before becoming mayor, Hart served for eight years as a councilman in Ward 4. He was also the first African American appointed as mayor pro tem. Hart is a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University in educational leadership and policy studies.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment. Black History Month isn't over yet. There is still time to share your point of view. Learn more below.
Black History is World History
Mayor Quentin Hart, Waterloo
Mayor Quentin Hart, of Waterloo. Photo courtesy of Hart.
Black History is world history. It is not only about what happened in the past, it explains our present and shapes our future. It permeates our everyday lives, the foods we eat, the songs we sing, the clothes we wear. Today, we have more resources, more access to information, and more ability to disseminate information than ever before.
We are seeing the rise of new courageous truth-tellers boldly challenging traditional narratives.
We see a growing audience receptive to hear, open to learn and hoping to see what has been hiding in plain sight.
We must seize this unique moment, while we have the world’s attention, to not only share Black History, but to make it.
Read: Black History Month reflections by Black Iowans
- Top Black Iowa Democrats: 'Black history is Iowa's history'
- Black Iowa parent: Teaching history without Black culture is 'reminder of how systemic racism continues' its cycle
- Black Iowa activist, TEDx speaker: 'Survival is our cultural ethos'
- Black Iowa professor, musician: 'If it were left up to my schools, I would have never learned the truth of my history'
- Black Iowa lawmaker slams Black History Month tributes at the state Capitol by those seeking 'to block Black History being taught'
- Black Iowa community servant: 'When I think of all the things Blacks have endured in America, I am inspired'
- Black Iowa businesswoman: 'We aren't just slavery and civil rights or any other uncomfortable parts of history'
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Share your opinion with Black Iowa News
To celebrate Black History Month, Black Iowa News will publish short original quotes from Black Iowans on the topics of Black history and voting rights. Email your quote, city, short bio and photo to Dana James, founder of Black Iowa News: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banner: Black History Month art by Christopher Harrison, of Harrison Art Studio.
Learn about Carter G. Woodson and the origins of Black History Month.