Two firsts in black history at Texas Tech were celebrated during a Black History Month event Thursday night at the university.
The speaking and storytelling event featured the first African-American athlete at Tech and a charter member of the university’s first black student organization.
Danny Hardaway in February 1967 was the first African-American to receive a scholarship as an athlete at Tech, where he lettered for the Red Raiders in 1969 and 1970 as a running back and receiver.
Gwen Titus, charter member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority’s Texas Tech chapter founded in 1970, took questions with Hardaway as part of a panel discussing their experiences as African-Americans at the university.
Hardaway described being lonely sometimes as the only
black athlete and one of only 25 black students at Tech.
It was inspiration from his parents that kept him going, Hardaway said.
“They always taught me whatever you believe in, you fight for,” he said.
Hardaway, whose military family lived in Lawton, Okla., when he was at Tech, said he also received support from white administrators, athletes and other black students while at Tech.
The other members of the football team were among the first to welcome him to the university, he said.
“We get into the trenches, we fight together — white or black — and we always get along,” he said.
The free, public event was designed to celebrate Black History Month and featured a presentation on the history of the university, cultural dances, music and a panel of Tech alumni.
The event was organized by the Eta Lambda Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Iota Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi.
Troderius Provo, a 22-year-old senior and member of the fraternity, said his organization co-sponsored the event as a way to share stories on Black History Month with Tech’s black community.
“We want to make sure the black students have something to actually celebrate Black History Month,” he said.
Megan Ayitey-Adjian, vice president of Tech’s Delta Sigma Theta chapter, said she hoped hearing from Titus and Hardaway would give her members a more local, Tech-specific history of the black community.
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