80° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

(Video Documentary) First Black

Southwest Texas State Normal School opened in 1903; 60 years later, Southwest Texas State College admitted its first black students; and over a century later at what is now Texas State University, The Strutters, The University Star and Student Government experienced their first black leaders, respectively.
Prior to Ravyn Ammons’ selection as the first black head captain of the Strutters, she had gotten to know some black officers, but there was never one under the title ‘Head Captain’; she inherited an organization entrenched with a rich, white history. When scrolling through Strutter history, one cannot go very far without mentions of presidential inaugurations, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades and a performance in the People’s Republic of China.
Carrington J. Tatum became The Star’s first black editor-in-chief after a year of the organization receiving national attention for a column addressing whiteness, written by a former staff member. Tatum was tasked with restructuring the publication’s identity without much institutional support, which included a dire need to address issues with access, equity, diversity and inclusion.
After the first ever impeachment of a student body president, the resignation of another and the resignation of another, Corey Benbow had a lot to deal with as Student Government’s first black president. Just weeks after being sworn in, a protest broke out on Texas State’s campus resulting in four student arrests. Benbow had to serve as the mouthpiece of the student body and work with an administration that many black students felt did not have their best interests in mind.
Balancing the life of being organizational leaders and black students was not always easy for the three. They knew that one mishap could result in perhaps another century of punishment for the black students coming after them.
“If I did a horrible job, they wouldn’t allow another one in here for a very long period of time,” Benbow said.
First Black is a film produced by Jaden Edison that highlights the experiences of Ammons, Tatum and Benbow navigating through first black leadership in historically white organizations, while representing students feeling marginalized and silenced by its university.

Donate to The University Star

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The University Star