Peninsula Flier Draws Accusations of Racism

A flier posted in Cabot and Mather Houses yesterday by the conservative campus journal Peninsula is provoking accusations of racism and in sensitivity from Black students.

The poster, which advertises a forum entitled "Spade Kicks: A Symposium on Modernity and the Negro as a Paradigm of Sexual Liberation," was put up yesterday by Peninsula staff members but was later torn down.

"I personally feel it's an attack on the Black community," said Zaheer R. Ali '94, vice president of the Black Student Association (BSA).

Ali said that the poster's use of the words "spade," a term which "has to do with hate speech," and "Negro" are particularly offensive to him.

But Matthew J. McDonald '92, a former Peninsula council members and one of the event's organizers, said the poster was sent to the magazine by the speakers and was merely meant to "Provoke interest" in the speeches.


BSA will decide its official reaction to the poster at a meeting early next week, Ali said.

Concerned students also met yesterday with Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 and Assistant Dean for Race Relations Hilda Hernandez-Gravelle to explain their objections to the poster.

Tamara Duckworth '91 and Mecca Nelson '92, the students who brought the flierto officials, said they will express theirreaction to the posters in a letter to The Crimsontoday.

The flier is advertising a campus appearancenext week by Gloria G. Hardy, a social worker atSouth Suburban College, Chicago, and E. MichaelJones, the editor of Fidelity magazine.

McDonald, who is a Crimson editor, said he is"saddened" by the people who are objecting to theposter and event. "They have no idea what he'sgoing to say," McDonald said.

The title of the conference is basically areference to the viewpoint held by Jones andHardy, that the sexual revolution of the 1960s wasserious cause of destruction to the Black family,according to McDonald.

"In some ways white people have been mostresponsible for the problems Blacks have faced"according to the speakers, McDonald said. "Somewhites have been harmful for foisting harmfulstereotypes and behaviors on Black people."

McDonald said that people do not understand theposter. The phrase "Spade Kicks" is a reference toJack Kerouac's book On the Road, he said.

The word "Negro," McDonald said is used in areference to the time period the lectures willdeal with.

"It's a historical allusion about the 1960s"when the word was in common use, McDonald said.

Ali said he had heard that explanation, but"it's not 1960.