Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dr. Boyce: Leave it to Mississippi to Put Huxtables in Blackface


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action
A sorority at the University of Southern Mississippi decided that it might be fun to depict “The Cosby Show” by putting students in blackface.   The off campus party was meant to be good old fashioned fun, likely inspired by students whose professors have never educated them on the fact that their actions are horribly offensive to millions of people.
Phi Mu sorority is being asked to explain why some of its members felt compelled to behave in this manner, but they don’t have much to say.   They have at least stepped out to meet with black campus leaders to discuss the incident.  They are also expected to sponsor a campus-wide event on diversity appreciation.
As I mentioned during a similar incident that took place at Arizona State University, the students are usually the last ones I blame when events like this take place.  Instead, I look at their parents and professors, who’ve never taken the time to educate them on the history of their actions and why they are so hurtful.
As Southern Mississippi University seeks ways to do damage control after this incident, I am hopeful that they will also take the time to consider how the actions of their students are a reflection of what they are being taught.  Analyzing the required curriculum might be an important step in helping students overcome the effects of our nation’s racial sickness.  Progress is only going to be made if we all engage in deliberate efforts to truly respect diversity and not simply wait for the next blackface incident to happen.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and spokesperson for the Ujamaa Initiative to support black-owned businesses.   To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to you, please click here. 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

...Only in America, an African American can be president..and college kids still with education are stupid...as usual.

Taunya Baker Curry said...

In this day and age, it boggles my mind that people seem to think that being in "black face" is something that is acceptable.

Unknown said...

I'm from Mississippi and I'm surprised that this happened on this campus...Brett Farve's Southern Mississippi has a large number of black students...I still have a passion for HBCU and I NEVER considered sending my child anywhere else but a HBCU!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Hattiesburg, Ms...and I worked for the University of Southern Miss for 23 years. I left there in 2003..this does not surprise me at all...those students knew exactly what they were doing..the only thing is...they thought they would get a BIG laugh out of it...and nothing would happen..Dean Eddie Holloway (who is black) shame on you...because you know they knew this was wrong...and yet you take their side...SMDH

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my college days at the University of Texas in the early 60's. nothing has changed!

Anonymous said...

Educated and raised by Black teachers early on in Brooklyn. Grew up in Bed-Stuy. White Puerto Rican. NEVER discriminated by anyone Black! Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher and Mr. Abram Hill were my role models and mentors in Junior High School. 47 years later and I still hold these Black educators dear in my heart. Those ignorant sorority students need a TRUE eudcation.

Anonymous said...

it is only in usa that there are so many black and african proffessores in most of the universities........in europe most blacks do not have much...even in france and england....and worst in all the rest of europe.....perhaps in time things will change for the black man in europe....but as of today he or she has little of anything....worst of all the blacks running away from the usa....just a note from the black university of the world.