Havard University will hold its first special graduation ceremony for all black students on May 23, Yahoo News reports.
The event has been touted by organizers as a “fellowship” that will celebrate the achievements of the black students in the globally recognized university.
So far, 170 students and 530 guests have confirmed their attendance to the premiere event that celebrates and punctuates just how black students can excel in a world class university.
The incoming chair of the Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance, Jillian Simons, said the event not only celebrates success by black students but also brings about time to reflect on the past as told by The Boston Globe.
“There is a very somber tone to it because of the things we’ve had to overcome,” she said.
Another student who will receive his master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in Massachusetts, Michael Huggins, described the event as one that celebrates “excellence” and “brilliance” from black students in Harvard.
“An opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” says Huggins.
Interestingly, he agrees with the organizers of the event that it is not about segregation as may be perceived, but it is about 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.”
Another black student, an immigrant from Jamaica noted it is a celebration of all black families which put extra effort to ensure their children get the best from Harvard.
“When we walk across that stage, all of our families will know that they’re walking with us. They all know the sacrifices that they’ve made,” said the lady who will graduate from Harvard School of Education.
The Black Commencement event will have all graduate don Kente cloth on top of their graduation attire, to denote and celebrate their African culture.
There will also be speeches from the graduating students who will tell of their experience at the institution.
The event comes against a backdrop of increasing cases of racism in colleges and campuses calling for activism from students who want the vice nipped in the bud.