The recent events at Mizzou have led to nationwide protests, outrage, fear, and of course, the reopening of a 400+ year old wound. While we love to pride ourselves on living in a “post-racial” society, the only thing “post” about racism in America is…well, nothing. The racist incidents that have taken place over the years on Mizzou’s campus have been repeatedly ignored by the school’s administration, and now things have reached their boiling point. As a result, conversations have been sparked about racism, injustice, and the power of athletes-both college and professional, but social media users have also used this as an opportunity to center the ongoing debate about PWIs vs. HBCUs.
As a result, conversations have been sparked about racism, injustice, and the power of athletes-both college and professional, but social media users have also used this as an opportunity to center the ongoing debate about PWIs vs. HBCUs. If you’ve been following me long enough, you know how I feel about the importance of HBCUs. I wrote about it here for XOJane.
I got a lot of positive and negative feedback from that post. People all over the country, both Black and White couldn’t understand why I felt I needed to attend an HBCU. That’s when I realized, we had a bigger issue than I had originally thought. My question was always, “Why WOULDN’T I attend an HBCU?”
I think HBCUs are a necessity for many reasons; one being that HBCUs provide a safe space for Black students, free of racially motivated hate crimes, etc. Though some disagree that HBCUs are even still relevant, the stories that are being shared through the #BlackOnCampus hashtag really make me thankful for Howard University and HBCUs across the nation. I couldn’t imagine being in some of the situations that these young people are recounting. Truth be told, we all get enough of that just being alive and being Black. Who needs that at a place where you pay to go, and where you spend a majority of your time for 4 years? Sure, not everyone who attends a PWI will have this experience, but it’s worth nothing that there are more stories citing racism on campus than there should be!
Sitting on an exc board where one of your fellow members didn't know your name for weeks. as if you don't belong. #BlackOnCampus
— Lex. (@_lexxtherexx) November 11, 2015
WHEN YOU HAVE TO BE ESCORTED & USE A BUDDY SYSTEM WHEN YOURE ON A CAMPUS YOU PAY TO GO TO. #BlackOnCampus
— Ms. Stone. (@QUIT_fLEXinn) November 11, 2015
When it's believed that affirmative action got you here and you stole opportunity from more qualified white applicants#BlackOnCampus
— SS (@Shannishhh) November 11, 2015
Feeling as though your life is in danger but knowing that "complaining" about it would win retaliation #BlackOnCampus
— Yukio Strachan (@boldandworthy) November 11, 2015
I don't remember any black professors at my college. Even my African studies professor was an old white man #BlackOnCampus
— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) November 11, 2015
I was constantly told to not use the race card. #BlackonCampus
— Kayla Reed (@RE_invent_ED) November 11, 2015
White people complaining about a Black Culture Center when literally every other place on campus is their "culture center." #BlackOnCampus
— BrownBlaze (@brownblaze) November 11, 2015
when you suddenly become the spokesperson for all black people in your white only class. #BlackOnCampus
— b (@bdoulaoblongata) November 11, 2015
#blackoncampus *thought you were in a progressive class with like minded people* HOW COME THERES NO WHITE ENTERTAINMENT TV???"
— Kels Santiago ॐ (@fivefooterxx) November 11, 2015
Walked home to see my dorm bulletin board vandalized and spray painted with the N-word and a swastika. #BlackOnCampus
— Jonathan Alingu (@jalingu) November 11, 2015
Constantly being asked what sport you play by white people. #BlackOnCampus
— #JusticeForDeriante (@SankofaBrown) November 11, 2015
— JMS New York (@jms_ny) November 11, 2015
#BlackOnCampus being told that slavery doesn't impact me today. Internalized racism is I my head. I'm not trying hard enough.
— Luca Brassiere (@thissoulflower) November 11, 2015
— Miz Jenkins (@TheChangeU12C) November 11, 2015
several Georgetown classmates asked if I was the first in my family to graduate #blackoncampus
— Alisha Stewart (@AlishaNStewart) November 11, 2015
After reading these tweets, all I can do is stand in solidarity with these students, past and present. What I’m truly hoping will come of this, however, is an influx of students at HBCUs, the growth and development of HBCUs, and the enrichment of the Black community in a way that we so desperately need right now.
Do you any of you have similar experiences being #BlackOnCampus?