It’s lucky that black people can’t be racist. If they could, a plan by black students at Harvard University to conduct a “black-only” commencement ceremony later in this month sure would smack of racism.
Approximately 125 students will participate in the event, which took over a year to plan, reports The College Fix. The event is supposed to celebrate how black students have succeeded in higher education.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s Black excellence and Black brilliance,” Michael Huggins, a master’s candidate in public policy, told The Root. “It’s an event where we can see each other and our parents and family can see us as a collective, whole group. A community.”
Students raised over $27,000 to cover the cost of the ceremony and a reception to follow. They hope to have another black-only ceremony next year that will include undergraduate students as well.
Huggins insists that having a ceremony exclusively for black students isn’t a form of segregation but, telling The Root:
It’s about fellowship and building a community. This is a chance to reaffirm for each other that we enter the work world with a network of supporters standing with us.
How that doesn’t make the event exclusionary in this age of forced inclusiveness remains to be seen.
Black students at Harvard have a higher graduation rate than national standards — 96% of the college’s black students graduate within six years, according to a 2011 report. Only 44% of black students graduate on a national level.
Black students at Harvard still have issues with their campus. Courtney Woods, who is finishing a master’s degree in education policy and management, is quoted as saying:
Harvard’s institutional foundation is in direct conflict with the needs of Black students. There is a legacy of slavery, epistemic racism and colonization at Harvard, which was an institution founded to train rising imperialist leaders.
This report, by Amber Randall, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.