Editor’s Note: As the pendulum swings back, Black culture pushes forward

In Feb. 2023, TSL picked up right from where we left off, following Black history at the 5Cs from the 1970s into the new millennium. We hope to continue our perpetual learning and appreciation of the contributions made by Black students, faculty, staff and alums to the Claremont community and the world at large.

In the spirit of that growth, we want to acknowledge that some of the historical stories of this year’s spread may take on a different tone than last year. From the destruction of the Black Studies Center to contention over equal opportunity hiring and affirmative action, we recognize that the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s represent a time where the pendulum of social progress seems to have swung backward at the 5Cs. Throughout our time spent tirelessly combing through the archives at Honnold Mudd and Denison Libraries, we came to more deeply understand that the road toward representation and equity is long, and it is not always linear.

Despite the exciting activism and victories of the ’60s, we recognize that it is our job to bring even the setbacks into light, too. In this annual exercise of learning about our history and heritage, we have continued to reflect and make new discoveries.

This year, we found out that last year’s seven-decade Black History Month tribute was not the first for our organization. In 1988, TSL published its first Black History Month spread. To pay respect to the journalism that continues to teach us how to engage, learn and understand our community, we’ve republished our favorite pieces of the 1988 spread in this week’s issue.

In our historical and contemporary coverage of Black History Month this year, it is once again, “our hope that, as with everything we do, elevating this knowledge makes us all more informed, more thoughtful and better equipped to use the facts to make our community more just for everyone,” as we pledged last February.

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