Harvard Celebrates Black Intelligence

Guest Writer Jordan Taylor-Effinger

IMG_0386[1]It is debatable that racism is a thing of the past. Despite the “progress” in our culture, racism is still prevalent today in the U.S.

According to Peter Jacobs from “Business Insider,” racial tension and ethnic tensions makes up 5 percent of the biggest problems on college campuses.”

While becoming more diverse everyday, U.S. colleges and universities have become a platform for victims to speak up. Following this trend, Harvard University will be holding an all-black commencement for the undergraduate class of 2020.

“This commencement will commemorate each person’s unique struggles and achievements at an elite institution,” said Michael Levenson from “Bostonglobe,”  “More than 170 [Black] students and 530 guests have signed up to attend the ceremony. Every graduate will receive a stool made of kente cloth as a symbol of the African heritage.”

Many people don’t agree with the separate ceremony because of its segregationist tendency. Why would we separate ourselves when our ancestors fought for unity? If a group of white students did this, wouldn’t there be negative backlash from the community?

The intention of the commencement is not to segregate. Students of all races and ethnic groups are able to attend, but only students of African descent will be able to participate in the celebration.

As an African American female I know how it feels to be constantly ignored because of my skin color. In my opinion the white race has always been acknowledged and celebrated. The commencement is more about highlighting the struggles that black students go through that get looked over everyday.

Even with the “progress” that was made in the 1960’s civil rights movement, there have been countless acts of racism happening between the white and black races, especially on college campuses.

According to Monica Anderson from Pewresearch, “When asked whether their race or ethnicity has made it harder, easier or hasn’t made much of a difference in getting ahead in life, about half (49%) of blacks with some college experience say their race has made it harder for them to be successful.”

Since Harvard University is a well-known, post-secondary school, it provides a perfect platform to raise awareness on the hardship of African American students. Having this ceremony is very important to me because racism should not be normalized on college campuses and speaking out prevents this very thing.

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