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Harvard to host commencement ceremony honoring black students

Black Women in Education

Harvard to host commencement ceremony honoring black students

Michael Huggins’ grandfather never learned how to read or write. He was born in Mississippi when Jim Crow laws still legalized racial segregation, but eventually left in the 1950s by riding in the trunk of a car that was leaving the state. Two generations later, his grandson is graduating from Harvard.

“If he hadn’t made his decision to leave and find a better life for his family, I wouldn’t be here,” Huggins said. “Graduating from Harvard, it’s spiritual for me. And I know so many people who have stories like that.”
Huggins, who will graduate with a master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, hopes that such stories will be shared and celebrated at Harvard University’s first commencement ceremony specifically honoring black graduates.
The event, to be held two days prior to Harvard’s traditional commencement, aims to honor the achievements of black students at Harvard and to share their experiences with the larger community.
More than 300 students and 500 guests have registered to attend the May 23 event. The event will be an optional, additional ceremony.
The ceremony, Huggins said, is not meant to be divisive, but rather an affirmation of identity and community.
“It’s truly about fellowship. We invite anybody to come to learn about the black, African, and African diaspora experience at Harvard. This event is truly…
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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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