By Hunter King | Herald staff writer
The annual lecture series sponsored by Central Texas College, Texas A&M University-Central Texas and the Center for African American Studies and Research at CTC will be happening later this month.
Horace Grace, one of the organizers of the event, discussed the center and the lecture series in an interview with the Herald.
Grace said he was challenged by Gra’Delle Duncan, the author of “Killeen: Tale of Two Cities, 1882-1982.”
While Duncan was trying to write the book, she went to Grace and said she could not find any history on African Americans, according to Grace.
Grace said he sat on it for a few months before he approached the chancellor at Central Texas College with the idea. The chancellor supported Grace 100% and since 2002, Grace has helped grow the center.
The center now has a $50,000 endowed scholarship and a dedicated room at Oveta Culp Library. These were goals of the center in its early days and another goal was to have a lecture series.
Grace talked about what he likes about the Center for African American Studies.
“The thing I like about the center more than anything else is the fact that I represent the community, I’m a community guy, so it was my thought that the community represented by me and my committee go to Central Texas College and then Texas A&M (Central Texas),” Grace said. There are three partners responsible for the lecture series, the Center for African American Studies and Research, Central Texas College and Texas A&M Central Texas, according to Grace. “Those three things working together has been great,” Grace said.
Grace said he wanted people to know about the books that have been purchased for the center.
“We have purchased about $7,000 worth of books on African American experience throughout Texas as well as nationally and we’re getting ready to buy another $4,000 worth of books,” Grace said.
Grace and the late Alice Douse, who worked in Killeen ISD for 32 years as a teacher, consultant, assistant principal and principal, worked on a book that Douse’s sister finished called “Trilogy” that highlights “the shakers and movers in the African American community back to the early ‘40s,” Grace said. Grace said he was not aware of another community that has been able to put together a similar book. The book will be on sale at the lecture series, according to Grace.
The annual Lecture Series will be on Feb. 27.
The event will begin with a meet and greet from 5 to 5:45 p.m. and the lecture will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Yowell Conference Room, Warrior Hall building, 1001 Leadership Place, at Texas A&M University Central Texas.
The guest speaker for the event is Ashley Farmer, an assistant professor in the departments of History and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas.
Farmer wrote “Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era” and the book is the first comprehensive study of black women’s intellectual production and activism in the Black Power era, according to information on Farmer provided by Grace.
The topic of the lecture will be “Black Women Intellectuals Who Transformed Black Power”, according to a flyer for the event.