|Richard Collins III|
It would not be long before several University of Maryland Terrapin students would hijack the school's popular "Fear the Turtle" slogan and turn it into a hashtag to share their own encounters of racism on UMD's campus:
"when a group of my friends were told "our kind" was not wanted at a party my freshman year"
"being the only black man on the floor of my freshman dorm gave a coward the courage to call me the n word through the walls"
"when a UMPD officer whispered in my AfAm student's ear: "I could f*ckin' ruin your life right now if I wanted to."
"when the bus driver told black students the bus was full but let white students get on right after"
"I turned down a full ride to Howard & Hampton to be disrespected and unprotected at UMD. If I knew what I know now.."
|Graduates at Howard University Commencement|
|Students at Cheyney University--the U.S.'s first HBCU|
|Collins graduation robe displayed at BSU Commencement.|
This is not to say that HBCUs don't have their share of headaches and heartaches; God knows they do. But at a time in a young person's life when balancing Calculus classes, tuition fees, and marching band rehearsals is stressful enough, at the very least, a student should be able to cross a college campus in peace without carrying the weight of a racial slur shouted at them in addition to their backpack full of books. Life will provide enough opportunities for race to rear its ugly head; an institution of "high learning" should not be one of them.
RIP Brave Soldier. Your HBCU family salutes you.
Photo Credits: N/A