In the name of progress, Harvard University will segregate graduation ceremonies based on race.
“Aside from studying and taking grueling tests, if you’re a minority, the outer pressures of society make the already challenging coursework even more difficult. Knowing this, Black members of the class of 2017 decided to form an individual ceremony. It’s the first of its kind at the school in recent memory and took nearly a year to plan,” reports BET. “The separate graduation is an effort to highlight the aforementioned struggles and resilience it takes to get through those.”
The Root similarly lamented how difficult college life can be for minorities: “The ceremony comes at a time when the experiences of Black students on college campuses in America have been marked by incidents of overt racism, microaggressions, passive racist comments, and the marginalization of minority experiences in both reading assignments and learning materials.”
The segregation will include only graduate students this year, but there are plans to expand such racial separation next year to all university students, including undergrads.
Michael Huggins, a Harvard graduate student who helped orchestrate the separate ceremonies, told The Root that the segregation “is not about segregation.”
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s Black excellence and Black brilliance,” said Huggins. “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.
“This is not about segregation,” he continued. “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. We are all partners.”
Shockingly, this is not as rare as it may seem. As noted by BET, “Stanford, Temple and Columbia all have Black student graduations.”
Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud.