A story that started out ugly has finished with a surprisingly happy and elegant end. You may have heard that in November 2010, the Cure Lounge nightclub in Boston closed down a party being thrown by a group of Black Harvard alumni when the club’s management deemed the attendees to be “local gangbangers” and “the wrong crowd.” In fact, many of the people in attendance were Harvard students, alumni and successful professionals, some of whom didn’t even live in Boston anymore and were just there for the Harvard-Yale game. That didn’t stop the club management from kicking them all out, ostensibly because many of them were Black.
It didn’t take long before the party organizers filed a lawsuit against the Cure Lounge, and with dozens of witnesses to the prejudice—400 people bought tickets to the sold-out party—it was a pretty open-and-shut case. “Massachusetts businesses cannot refuse to host events because of racial reasons,” state Attorney General Coakley said after filing a complaint in Suffolk Superior Court. “In this case, club staff made harmful and ill-conceived conclusions based on the simple fact that most of the guests were Black. This type of behavior is the essence of racial stereotyping, and it is a reminder that, despite the many strides we have taken, there is still progress to be made.”
The group who filed the suit won their case, which yielded them nearly $30,000 in damages. The best part? Rather than take their winnings to the bank, the three men donated the full $28,500 they’d won to four organizations that help African-American kids get to college. The money will go toward grants for students in need of financial aid.
In the end, the students proved that the value of a true education isn’t just in knowing your rights and how to fight back when you’re deprived of them. The value of a true education is knowing how to give back diligently in order to help others gain your knowledge.
(Photo: Rouelle Umali/Landov)