by Jamar Boyd II
America is being shaken once again. This time spearheaded by the bold, courageous and unashamed black students at the University of Missouri.
The hashtag, #ConcernedStudent1950, brought attention to the damning issues at Mizzou. African American students being treated as second class citizens, called racial obscenities, mocked and the more. Not only that they make up a mere 7% of the student population. A true minority being ignored at a public institution and treated with complete disregard.
Through social media I’ve watched the growth of their movement from homecoming week there to now. When a ConcernedStudent1950 protester was hit by the car carrying then President Tim Wolfe in the homecoming parade. A swastika was drawn in human feces at a residence hall. Then this week.
The KKK was present on campus, threatening the lives of black students and others present at the University of Missouri declaring they would kill all the n*****s. Along with this was the seeming disregard given by University Police and the city of Columbia, MO. As their alert system through Twitter stated, “in case of a real emergency,” that is concerning damning alone.
Nevertheless, these young men and women have continued to stand boldly. They have not bent, broken, folded or given up, but they’ve gotten stronger. Not only have they continued their efforts through the use of social media, but they’ve acted in person too. They’ve stated and listed their demands, demonstrated, marched protested and much more. They’ve shaken America again and we plan to shake up Georgia Southern University and Statesboro.
This University has an African American student population of over 26%. Yes, 26%, but you’d be hard pressed to find an adequate representation of such numbers on campus.
We lack a sufficient number of black professionals (faculty, staff and professors). In my four years here I’ve had three black professors and only one male and the only one who was tenured. We do not have a black student union or cultural center. Instead, the most influential black male and employee here was let go and we, black students, were left scrambling for an advisor and mentor. The buck doesn’t stop there. Only three courses are offered in the Africana Studies program and one requires numerous prerequisites. I could go on and on, but in the coming days some things will come forth.
I, Jamar A. Boyd II, stand with the black students at Mizzou. The Georgia Southern University NAACP stands in solidarity too. Georgia Southern and Statesboro can no longer ignore the black student and community population.
No longer can we ignore the fact of institutionalized racism and systematic oppression. We join in with the Colleges and Universities across this nation and world who are determined to eradicate and eliminate this epidemic.
The road won’t be easy, detractors will come, threats may arise, but we will fight and stand tall. If you would’ve told me my freshman year I’d be serving as NAACP Second Vice President and standing as I am, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, thanks be to God for giving me the courage, strength and will to do so.
I love Georgia Southern, I love black GSU and I’m blessed to be where I am. Now, it’s time for a change.
Jamar A. Boyd, II – Senior sport management major, President of St. Jude Up ’til Dawn and Second Vice President NAACP. “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” – Ayn Rand