Remembering May 4

Addie Gall

At the 48th annual commemoration of the death of four Kent State students killed by the National Guard, the keynote speaker, William C. Hine, addressed that we can not forget what happened almost fifty years ago.

Hine, a retired history professor from South Carolina State University, was invited by the May 4 Task Force to speak at the commemoration. He emphasized we never learn from the past if we don’t continue to remember it. Hine also honored the students killed at the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State University on February 8, 1968.

In keeping with tradition, the chronology leading up to May 4 at Kent State and Jackson State is read. This year, the history of Orangeburg was also read.

In 1968, three students were killed and 27 were injured after officers fired into a crowd of protesters in Orangeburg at South Carolina State University.

Hine said Orangeburg and Kent State have their similarities, but they have differences as well. Orangeburg received much less media attention, he said, and not many people knew it happened, so it’s important that we remember Orangeburg and Kent State.

“It had a global impact,” Hine said.

This years commemoration theme was “When will we ever learn?”

Speakers stressed the importance of keeping these student’s memories alive and speaking up as they did.

“We are the future lawmakers and we should have an active voice in the political conversation,” said Dartalia Alati, a junior journalism major and upcoming president of Black United Students this fall.

Hine said the impact of May 4 exists to this day, but there are people who want to see it disappear. The community can’t allow that to happen, Hine said.

“Let’s celebrate the fourth of July and remember the fourth of May,” Hine said.

Addie Gall is the student politics reporter. Contact her at [email protected]