African American graduate students at ivy league Harvard university are planning a “black-only” graduation ceremony this month.
Around 125 students will attend the event, which organisers claim is intended to celebrate the success of the black community in higher education. The students themselves raised over $27,000 and took over a year to plan the ceremony, which they hope will become an annual event.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” Michael Huggins, a master’s student in public policy, said. “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.”
As reported in the Daily Caller:
The students insist that having a ceremony just for black students isn’t a form of segregation, but a way for them to have fellowship together.
“This is not about segregation. 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,” Huggins added.
Black students at Harvard have a higher graduation rate than national standards — 96 percent of the college’s black students graduate within six years, according to a 2011 report. Only 44 percent of black students graduate on a national level.
The students will still participate in the official graduation ceremony with the other students.