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Students at Howard University Protest Cutting of Classics Department

Students at Howard University Protest Cutting of Classics Department

“Students in the department have written letters to Anthony K. Wutoh, the university’s provost and chief academic officer, highlighting the importance of classics and the field’s ties to Black history”

It’s heartening to see students protesting this. Hopefully the school will reconsider their decision.

The New York Times reports:

Howard Students Protest Cut of Classics Department, Hub for Black Scholarship

As an alumna of Howard University, Anika Prather remembers feeling that the classics were everywhere during her years as a student. No matter your major or field of study, she recalled, it was practically a given that classics would be woven into your educational experience.

“My brother was a pre-med student — we both went to Howard — and I remember sitting there seeing him read all types of classics, like we all had to, classics or some work of the canon, but then you’re reading it from a Black perspective,” Dr. Prather said. “It’s really incredible.”

At Howard, the classics department is as old as the university itself. Established in 1867 — the same year that Howard, one of the country’s leading historically Black colleges and universities, was founded — the department became a hub for Black thought, enlightening generations of students about Black people in antiquity.

Dr. Prather, now an adjunct professor of humanities, takes pride in being a part of the department. But she will soon have to leave the position, as the university plans to dissolve the department by the fall semester.

The university’s decision, which was reported in The Washington Post, has galvanized students and faculty members to preserve what the Society for Classical Studies says is the only classics department at an H.B.C.U.

Students in the department have written letters to Anthony K. Wutoh, the university’s provost and chief academic officer, highlighting the importance of classics and the field’s ties to Black history, Dr. Prather said.

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Comments

like we all had to, classics or some work of the canon, but then you’re reading it from a Black perspective

If you’re reading The Odyssey or Milton “from a (capital-B) Black perspective” then the classics at Howard were already hopelessly corrupted and their cancellation is no great loss.

George Washington Carver is spinning in his grave.

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