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Hines addressed students about issues of race when he was in college that are still relevant today.
Photo provided by Virginia Rendler

Councilman Glynn Hines Offers ‘Hinesight’ to Students

Kelsey Tyler

As one event to honor Black History Month, alumnus and Fort Wayne Councilman Glynn Hines spoke to the student body on Feb, 4 over Zoom, telling them about his own personal experiences as a Black man in society. Hines graduated from Manchester College in 1973, and shared his experiences as a Black student at MC in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Hines opened up to his audience about his experiences with racism as a student at Manchester. He discussed a time when white students made little Black babies out of tar and placed them on his doorknob. When he took this issue to campus security, they told him that it was just a prank and did not do anything about the situation.

Along with security dismissing his concern, he mentioned how other staff members would stop him on his way to the cafeteria to see his I.D. without asking the white kids for theirs. He pointed out as “one of the worst things that happened” to him occurred when he would play intramural basketball with his friends. He described the entire gymnasium cheering against his team, and the referees would cheat against him all of the time. Fights would break out between the white and Black students often, and Hines mentioned how he would get called racist names on a consistent basis. At this time in Manchester’s history there was no Black Student Union on campus, so Hines decided to start his own club. He called his new club the AAFRO (African Americans Forming Rightful Objectives) Club. This club pushed Manchester to hire an African American academic advisor, someone that Black students could go to and relate with. Hines also advocated for MC to dedicate a space called the “AAFRO House” where African American students could meet and support one another.

The history of the civil rights movement was also a prevalent part of Councilman Hines’ speech, as he lived through this time period. He made it clear to everyone just how violent this time period was. For instance, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Hines noted how people like to look back on Martin Luther King’s legacy as incredibly moving and heroic. But the reality, he said, was that people despised the civil rights movement in America, as well as peace and equality activists such as King. Before his assassination, King had a disapproval rate of 76%. He also had his phone systems tapped by the FBI and CIA, as he was accused of being a communist sympathizer for promoting peace and equality.

Being the last college that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at before his assassination, is a significant element of Manchester’s history. It brought a lot of people to this then college, like young Glynn Hines. Manchester’s Peace Studies program, being the first one in the world, also draws in a considerable amount of people who see Manchester as a place to create social change. This VIA was one example of Manchester’s many opportunities to honor diversity on its campus.