by Margaret M. | May 10, 2017 5:12 pm
For the very first time in the history of Harvard University, black students will be hosting their own graduation ceremony from all other students for their graduation ceremony. The students are all receiving their degrees from graduate programs and will still be attending the main ceremony with students from every background, they will then go on to hold one that only includes the black students.
So that’s two events: One for everyone and one for only the black students.
The event is being called Black Commencement 2017 and will bring over 170 students and over 530 guests on May 23.
The students worked all year to raise $27,000 in order to fund the ceremony and as reported by the Harvard Crimson, its organizers are completely fine with that fact that de-segregation spits on decades of struggle by black Americans to tear down the racial barriers that modern students are busy building back up.
Michael Huggins, president of the Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance, began organizing the event after finishing his first year at the Kennedy School, where he noticed an absence of programming to connect black graduates across disciplines. Huggins completed his bachelor’s degree at Stanford from 2010, where he noted a “long tradition” of similar graduation ceremonies for black alumni.
“I think there’s so many good opportunities to build networks, to build fellowship, to build community,” Huggins said. “This is an opportunity to hear stories that are often not told.”
Kristin A. Turner, president of the Harvard Black Law Students Association, said the event looks to help black students “claim our visibility” at the University, an institution that has historically been majority white.
“We chose Black Commencement as not only a commemoration of all the different dynamics that go into being a person of color at Harvard University, but also a celebration of what an accomplishment it is to not only come out on the other side,” Turner said.
As reported in TheBlaze, Harvard is at the very least the fourth college or university to hold a separate graduation specifically for black students, with Stanford (as mentioned), Temple and Columbia all hosting the racially based events.
In John Hawkins’ new book, ‘101 Things All Young Adults Should Know’, he teaches in number 85 of the book that you are not a victim. This is something modern students need to hear: you did not face the same challenges as your older family members and you are destroying everything they’ve worked hard to achieve because they wanted you to have a better life.
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