The Ujima Imani Lounge  

It meant so much in terms of getting through Kenyon because it was the only place you could go for refuge and NOT be on display. It was where we could really just sit down and relax.

-Ulysses Hammond '73

This wooden sign initially hung in BSU chairman, Roland Parson's room. Upon his graduation, the remaining BSU members placed the sign in the BSU lounge.Affectionately referred to as "The Place", and later renamed the Ujima Imani (Swahili for Unity and Faith) Lounge, the room continues to serve as an office for the Black Student Union as well as a refuge for all of Kenyon's Black Students.
When the Black Student Union was formed in 1969-1970, one of the group's first goals was to obtain a space on campus. Initially intending to start a Black Culture Center, the students felt the need to have a place on campus where they could escape the pressures of college life, and not be on display in front of white students.
Dean of Students, Tom Edwards was very receptive to this idea and helped the students locate a room as well as obtain money to buy furniture. Formerly a music listening room, and then student council room, the Ujima Imani Lounge is located in Pierce Hall. The lounge also contains a library of several texts by black authors, and other Africana studies materials.

This mural, painted by Larry Parker 74, is on the eastern wall of the Ujima Imani Lounge

Black Student Union


Kenyon in the 1960s