From Berea’s earliest days, African Americans have been central to the history of Berea College and the wider world. In this last installment of features for Black History Month 2016, we feature a diverse group of Berea College alumni who, each in their own way, continue to make Black History.
Andrew Baskin, who graduated from Berea in 1973, is an Associate Professor of General and African and African American Studies at Berea College. He also is Program Chair of African and African American Studies and co-editor of The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies. In 2014, he received the Professor of the Year award for “emphasizing academic excellence.” Professor Baskin, who has been teaching at Berea College since 1983, also received the 2004 Seabury Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2002 Elizabeth Miles Service Award for Community Service. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Lincoln Foundation.
Hasan Davis graduated from Berea College in 1992 with a degree in Communications. In spite of learning disabilities, a pre-teen arrest, and social and academic challenges before coming to Berea, Hasan persisted in finding the courage to change. And change he did! At Berea, Hasan was elected president of the student body, voted Homecoming King and received the Navy V-12 award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to campus life and interracial kinship. After earning his undergraduate degree from Berea, Hasan graduated from law school and served as Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice. Hasan is the founder of HD Solutions and author of a book, Written Off. Since 1997, Davis has been bringing history alive through his traveling, one-man Chautauqua performances that give voice to overlooked heroes such as A.A. Burleigh: Civil War Soldier; York: Explorer; and Joe Louis: America’s Champion. As an author and motivational speaker, Hasan remains dedicated to investing in the lives of others.
Using classroom knowledge to apply to real-world situations, Quentin Savage, a current student and social justice activist, achieved national recognition by receiving the Mario Savio Award for Young Activists in November 2015. Dr. Alicestyne Turley, director of the Carter G. Woodson Center, and Monica Jones, director of the Black Cultural Center, endorsed him by writing accounts of his work in Berea as one of the founders of “Bereans 4 Michael Brown (B4MB)” with students Anna Loveless and Candice King.
Born and reared in Columbus, Georgia, Djuan Trent came to Kentucky after being accepted to Berea College. A 2009 graduate, she majored in Theatre Performance. In 2010, Trent was crowned Miss Kentucky, making her the fourth black woman in Miss Kentucky history to hold the title. In 2011, Trent went on to compete in the Miss America pageant, finishing as a top semi-finalist and voted Contestant’s Choice by her peers. Trent is a volunteer for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center and is a motivational speaker at schools, events and conferences. She also writes on her personal blog and keeps up with many of her fans via her flourishing social media sites. She remains connected with Berea College by serving as a board member for the Berea College Young Alumni Advisory Council.