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HBCU Bomb Threats: When Will We Be Taken Seriously?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

On February 1st of 2022, the first day of Black History Month, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) like Spelman College, Howard University, Bowie State University, and several more, received bomb threats that shook many students, faculty, and alumnae in the HBCU world to its core. At least, on Twitter. After a quick google search, there was, in fact, proof acknowledgment from the outside world of these bomb threats made against our beloved HBCUs. However, less than a handful of articles were written about the bomb threats made at the beginning of the year. This knowledge made me think, “Is this being acknowledged for the right reasons?” If this had happened in say, May for instance, would anyone pay the threats, or the fear of HBCU students, any mind? 

On February 2nd, 2022, one Twitter user wrote “Anyone else notice how the whole bomb threat to HBCU story completely disappeared after they arrested the people yet they never gave us any details on the people they arrested, which only means one thing….”. I couldn’t help but not be surprised by this statement. Honestly, after the first day of hearing about the bomb threats, I was unaware of there being any persons of interest, and the story itself seemed to disappear. Because this happened during Black History Month, it seems that the story got the most attention it was ever going to get, with many of us not hearing anything else about it besides the fact that threats were made. In comparison, in November of 2021, the media was hyper-focused on the false bomb threats made against Ivy Leagues like Cornell University. Many well-known news outlets like USAtoday.com rushed to report the news, while the campus was evacuated. Why is it that no matter the date, PWIs receive more concern and media coverage, but HBCUs tend to barely get any and only receive some acknowledgment during Black History month?

The saddest part of this all is that black people are used to the constant hate crimes, threats, and feelings of unsafeness every day. In the coming days after the February bomb threats, many of my relatives reached out to me to make sure I was okay after hearing about the threats, even though my HBCU was not a victim of any threats. The truth is, after a few days, the news had been buried by other stories the media deemed more important, so I had honestly forgotten about it. Something as serious as a bomb threat, a hate crime, or a terrorist threat or attack of any kind, should not be seen as normal to anyone, whether it be an HBCU student, a regular black civilian, or any other person of color. Yes, we love Black History Month, but we deserve to matter every other day and month of the year. 

Makaela Tracey

Hampton U '24

My name is Makaela Tracey from Baltimore, Maryland and I am a Sophomore at Hampton University. As a first year biochemistry major, I aspire to one day attend Medical school in an effort to help others through their health crises.
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