Friday, June 5, 2009

Black Harvard Student Feels She Was Wronged

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A NewsOne Exclusive

When campus police profiled Black students, Harvard’s Black undergraduates protested.

When Harvard’s president soured on legendary professor Cornel West, prompting West to take a job at Princeton, Harvard’s Black students petitioned for him to stay.

But in the wake of the suspension of two Black students, fallout from a current on-campus murder investigation, the typically vocal Black student community at Harvard has remained curiously silent.

Last month Cambridge resident and alleged drug-dealer Justin Cosby was shot to death in a campus dorm, Kirkland House, reportedly in an attempted robbery gone awry. Two Black Harvard seniors, Brittany Smith and Chanequa Campbell, were connected with the incident by the university administration and police. Both women have been barred from graduating with their class today. Campbell, who has repeatedly denied any involvement with the shooting, has since taken her story to the media.

“I do believe I am being singled out,” Campbell told the Boston Globe last week when asked why she was being banned from campus. “The honest answer to that is that I’m Black and I’m poor and I’m from New York and I walk a certain way and I keep my clothes a certain way. . . . It’s something that labels me as different from everyone else.”

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