The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
How Can Colorado Quarterback Shedeur Sanders Improve For the 2025 NFL Draft?
How Can Colorado Quarterback Shedeur Sanders Improve For the 2025 NFL Draft?
June 6, 2024

Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders stands out as a prime prospect for the 2025 NFL Draft, and it’s no surprise he's the current favorite...

Fredrick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper honored in Morgan Library

Although no one knows his actual day of birth, prominent African American abolitionist and scholar Fredrick Douglass proclaimed Feb. 14 as his birthday.

The legacies of Douglass and other African American scholars were honored in a celebration at the Morgan Library Friday in celebration of Black History Month, and their preserved works were read and transcribed in an effort to make them more accessible online. 

Ad

Jimena Sagàs, a college liaison librarian and a member of the Equity and Social Justice Advisory group at Colorado State University Libraries, said it takes a lot of money and labor to transcribe works, which is why archivists bring communities together to look at the written work of a specific historical figure and digitize it.

“We are working in conjunction with the Douglass Day event at Howard University,” said Khaleedah Thomas, a scholarly communication librarian for CSU Libraries. “They provide the equity staff with the original literature archives, and people all around the country … are celebrating by transcribing.”

Sagàs said the event was an attempt to boost equity and inclusion in the library. 

“This was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the preservation of our nation’s history,” Sagàs said. “Events like this can bring us closer to understanding how we continue to perpetrate systems of oppression in our spaces and trying to heal that together as a community.”

The celebration was the idea of Dean of Libraries Karen Estlund, who recently took up her position this past December. Estlund said even before she came to CSU, she set plans for Douglass Day in motion, asking staff at CSU to place it on the agenda. This marked the first annual Douglass Day at CSU.

This was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the preservation of our nation’s history. Events like this can bring us closer to understanding how we continue to perpetrate systems of oppression in our spaces and trying to heal that together as a community.” -Jimena Sagàs, college liaison librarian, CSU Libraries

Estlund said the celebration at the Morgan Library comes out of the Colored Conventions Project, a digital humanities project that aims to preserve the work of African Americans. Estlund became familiar with the project during her last position as associate dean for technology and digital strategies at Pennsylvania State University, and she decided to pitch her ideas for Douglass Day to the equity board of the Morgan Library.

“I think it’s so important and exciting to look at Fredrick Douglass and black intellectuals and celebrate them,” Said Estlund.

This year’s celebration also focused on Black scholar Anna Julia Cooper.

“We are reading the works of Fredick Douglass and Anna Julia Cooper to celebrate their lives,” Thomas said. “She is known as ‘the Black mother of feminism,’ and we want to bring awareness and make her work more widely accessible.”

Ad

Thomas said the celebration aimed to help shed light on Anna Julia Cooper’s contributions, because she is not as well known as Douglass, and she has many valued literary works that have been lost for so long and were unavailable online. 

“Just the way history is selected, we have often chosen not to recognize the women and people of color who have made a huge difference, and this day is important to help change that narrative.” Estlund said. 

Sagàs said she hopes to grow this event next year and have the time and space to hold it more meaningfully.

Isaiah Dennings can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @isaiah_dennings

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *