On May 23rd, Black students at Harvard University will be experiencing an individual graduation ceremony specifically for themselves.
Set to take place two days before the prestigious university’s traditional ceremony, at least 125 black students have already registered to participate in the ceremony to be held at Holmes Field, raising $27,000 in the process for the ceremony and the reception to follow.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” Michael Huggins, a public policy grad student, graduating this month 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.”
Naturally, the move has been met with backlash with many choosing to refer to the ceremony as “segregated”.
“This is not about segregation,” Huggins told 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. We are all partners.”
Last year, Essence Magazine named Harvard the 2nd best school for African-American students, with 96% of black students graduating within 6 years.