African Students United (ASU) hosted the event We Still Live on May 17 in order to celebrate African culture. The event, held in Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall, had former DU professor and alum Paul Hamilton, as the guest speaker.
Hamilton came to DU as a freshman with nothing to his name and in a time much different compared to now. The apartments off-campus were segregated, and having pride in being black was unheard of. It was when he took a class on African culture during his undergrad that he was inspired to explore the culture. With empty pockets and lots of fundraising, he traveled to Africa. It was there, that his passion for the culture began.
The educator now has over 1,000 ancient African art sculptures, and has dedicated his life to unraveling just how influential African culture was to modern day society. His book, “African Peoples’ Contributions to World Civilizations: Shattering the Myth,” was created during his time as a professor at DU and has taken more than 20 years to write.
The novel explores the myths about African culture, as well as ways that the culture has contributed to Western society, from art to math.
Hamilton talked about his experience as being an educator for over 50 years, his knowledge of African culture and his experience as an art collector, exhibiting 15 pieces from his collection to DU students. At the end of the event, he answered students’ questions and students were allowed to view the art.