WSU hosts exhibit on Dockum sit-in, Wichita Black history
A traveling exhibit on a historic Wichita event has found its way to Wichita State University.
People, Pride & Promise: The Story of the Dockum sit-in is on display at the Cadman Art Gallery inside the Rhatigan Student Center. The RSC, WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Storytime Village are putting on the exhibit.
“Lots of students have said that they did not know that Wichita had this rich history for the civil rights movement, and they were very glad that we had taken initiative to be able to host this on our campus,” Interim Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Quang Nguyen said.
The collection of research spotlights the 1958 Dockum sit-in in downtown Wichita. A group of Black students sat at the Dockum Drug Store lunch counter every day for weeks until someone served them.
The sit-in was at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, the first successful student-led lunch counter event. One of the participants, Dr. Galyn Vesey, created today’s exhibit.
“With all of the racial injustices that have been taking place throughout these past few years and within generations as well, we want to make sure that students have an education of our social injustices,” Nguyen said.
The exhibit runs through January. Nguyen said it is in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We wanted to make sure that it was accessible for all students to be able to access, be able to look at, as they walk by in between classes, walk by during their break time and just be able to peruse,” he said.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will also host a different exhibit in Cadman Art Gallery in late February for Black History Month. Nguyen said he hopes these programs inspire students.
“Being able to be actionable leaders and taking action within their own communities…it’s very important,” Nguyen said.