Middle Tennessee State University Student Write’s Letter Encouraging All Black Students to Withdraw and Attend an HBCU
A student from Middle Tennessee State University, Joshua Crutchfield wrote a letter to his classmates encouraging them to transfer to an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) after protesting, pleading and fighting with the administration to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest’s name from their ROTC building, as well as, any other racist rhetoric found on campus.
Read the full letter below..
[dropcap]Black[/dropcap] students at MTSU: Transfer to an HBCU
Since at least 1968 following the murder of Martin Luther King Jr, black students at MTSU have been engaged in an ongoing struggle to remove Confederate iconography from the campus. More specifically, they’ve sought to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest from our campus. Black students in the late ’60s cited that these symbols of the Old South prevented them from truly feeling part of a rapidly changing university just beginning to fully integrate.
We’re currently in the most recent iteration of that same struggle to remove Forrest’s name from our ROTC building. From our perspective, it makes little sense that we are still engaged in a fight that should have been over decades ago. And to be clear: as a historian, this battle is less about history and more about the right of a few to desperately hold on to a legacy and heritage that valorizes a time when my ancestors were deemed less than human.
I won’t debate history. What’s awfully apparent, however, is that neither MTSU nor the state of Tennessee think black students matter. How much longer do we have to tell you that having symbols of white supremacy on our campus don’t exactly give us warm and fuzzy feelings? How do we expect to eradicate white supremacy if we cannot even remove its symbols? How much longer do we have to beg for you to see our humanity? At what point does begging diminish my own humanity?
Well, I’m done begging. I’m done begging a system that never had my well-being in mind to see me.
Black students make of 20 percent of the undergraduate population at MTSU. One in five undergraduates at MTSU are black students. And I think they should all transfer to an HBCU.
What impact would it have if 20 percent of the undergraduate population transferred to TSU or Fisk or American Baptist College? Not only would it cripple the pockets of a racist institution, but it would build up black institutions. At an HBCU, students may experience a different set of challenges, but they don’t experience challenges that question their very humanity.
And that’s where I’m at. I’ll never tell another black person to attend MTSU and I’m highly suggesting that those who do to consider transferring. We don’t have to beg institutions to be included. And we don’t have to be where we’re not wanted.
Joshua Crutchfield, Journey Drive, Murfreesboro
La'Shawn Chambers311 Posts
Part Owner of CampusLATELY/ blogger contributor. A graduate of Prairie View A&M University and proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.