CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Students, faculty and staff joined Fred J. Saffold III, founder of the True Black History Museum, to celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 6 at Penn State Lehigh Valley. The True Black History Museum was on display most of the day in Centre Hall to allow all students to see the rare and authentic artifacts.
On display were beads and artifacts from Ghana, a signed letter from Martin Luther King Jr., a signed football jersey from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and more.
“Black history is important. This history is a history of the world,” said Saffold. “Black people have made significant contributions on the fabric of humankind. We have a history that predates slavery, and that history is based in royalty. It’s everybody’s responsibility to use their privilege to help eradicate systems of racism and oppression.”
Saffold also held an interactive presentation during common hour to educate students, faculty and staff on the importance of teaching black history and the significant contributions made by black people.
“Each year we aim to bring relevant presenters and programs to campus for Black History Month. These are usually brief one-hour programs that educate and inform,” said Pam Fleck, assistant director of Student Affairs at Penn State Lehigh Valley. “The True Black History Museum was so extensive and historical and allowed us to have a one-of-a-kind look at many artifacts and learn from Mr. Saffold’s collection and experiences. This was an important and valuable opportunity for our campus community.”
“All In at Penn State” is an ongoing University-wide initiative that brings students, faculty and staff together to show their commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment — respectful of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, abilities, background, veteran’s status and political beliefs.