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Presentation Explores the History of the Black Panther Party in Iowa

By Clarke News  |  January 23, 2024

Clarke University is honored to host “The Black Panther Party in Des Moines,” a presentation from the African American Museum of Iowa. This free lecture begins at 5 p.m. in Alumnae Lecture Hall on Monday, February 5, and is open to the public. 

This engaging lecture explores how Iowa was impacted by the Black Panther Party, with Des Moines serving as a great example of the long struggle for racial justice that led to the growth of the Black Panther Party and the Black Power movement. Attendees will uncover myths and facts surrounding the Black Power movement and how groups like the Black Panther Party influenced reforms to education, food access, and life for Black Iowans. 

“I’m excited to be bringing insightful Black history presentations to our campus. This initiative aims to promote diversity, celebrate the rich tapestry of African American heritage, and foster a deeper understanding of the pivotal contributions made by the Black community throughout history,” said Will Hudson, Director of Intercultural Programs and Director of Clarke’s Black Male Leadership Society. “Through these engaging presentations, we hope to create a platform for meaningful conversations, cultural exchange, and mutual respect among our students, faculty, and the broader community.” 

“We as a university are committed to embracing diversity and fostering an inclusive environment that encourages learning and appreciation for the diverse histories that shape our collective identity” Hudson added. “I invite the public to join us in this enriching experience as we welcome the African American Museum of Iowa to our campus for an exploration of the vibrant and impactful narratives that have shaped Black history throughout the state of Iowa.” 

The presentation is one of many traveling options offered by the African American Museum of Iowa. Clarke will host a second event in partnership with the museum on February 27 entitled, “More Than Just a Game.” The program celebrates the impact that Black athletes in Iowa have had not just on their sport but on equality in our state, and is a great program for sports enthusiasts, history buffs, and more. 

Learn more about the program and other offerings from the African American Museum of Iowa at