Black Students Share Their Experiences at PWIs With #BlackOnCampus Hashtag

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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.

howard2As 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?”

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Graduates react as their school is called during Howard University's commencement ceremonies on May, 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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!

https://twitter.com/_judyrobbins/status/664525250621739008

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?

#karmajonezknows

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