Bomb Threats Mar Black History Month


Photo by Nkenge Cunningham

Roosevelt teachers who are alumni of HBCUs show the kind of spirit and community needed to overcome outside threats.

Jalynn Charity, Managing Editor

The celebration of Black History Month was met with racism at several Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  

More than 20 HBCU’s have been targeted in a series of bomb threats, similar to what students experienced here at Roosevelt on February 9. Universities including Spelman, Howard, and Bowie State received threats this past month. These threats caused the schools to cancel classes and students to feel vulnerable on campus. 

Since late last year threats towards schools have been increasing. The Washington Post reported an increase in school threats through social media since a violent attack in Oxford, Michigan. They reported more than 150 school threats in the month of September, five times as great as the previous year.  

  One HBCU Professor expressed disappointment that this is still happening in an interview with The Guardian.  

“I felt as though I was back living in the time of my grandmother,” Communications Professor Rahman Johnson said. “And while I don’t have the hindrances of her being a Black girl growing up in the south at that time, I felt that we’re in it again.” 

Roosevelt English teacher, Kiara Blye, spoke about her feelings regarding the bombings. “It’s crazy to think that things are still happening,” Blye said. “It’s showing that we’re not as far as we really think we are sometimes. Even though we are further, everyone else isn’t.” 

According to NBC news, the threats were allegedly carried out by six juveniles, one of whom appears to be linked to a hate group. The FBI also stated that these threats are being investigated as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism and hate crimes with the highest priority. 

Despite these threats, Blye said that HBCUs strive to maintain a strong community within. Teachers and students are working to show their strength against the hate that is being spewed out towards them.  

“HBCU’s do a really good job at making sure students are okay,” Blye said. “I’m more than positive that there were forums being hosted. I’m positive student unions did their best to talk about these things…The beauty about going to an HBCU, although they are targeted, is the student unions do a lot to make sure the students feel okay.”