Maryland College Cancels Black History Event Over Speaker's Views on LGBT Rights, HIV

Maryland College Cancels Black History Event Over Speaker's Views on LGBT Rights, HIV

Umar Johnson has made some questionable comments about HIV and the LGBT community.

Published February 25, 2015

Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland has canceled its upcoming Black History Month event due to concerns over scheduled speaker Umar Johnson.

Dubbed the "Prince of Pan-Afrikanism," Johnson, a Philadelphia-based school psychologist, was scheduled to give his "Impact of Historical Racism on the Present Generation" speech on Thursday. Yet according to the Baltimore Sun, officials have rescinded his invitation due to his controversial stances on the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and feminism.

Johnson, whose videos are posted on YouTube, has referred to the LGBT movement as a conspiracy to stop Black people from having children, claimed that LGBT people suffer from a mental disorder and that single mothers cause men to turn gay, writes Madame Noire.

He has also gone on record saying that AIDS is a government experiment and that AIDS doesn't kill, but the medications do. 

A college representative wrote the following in an email: "It was determined that this event would not foster the kind of academic discourse valued at AACC.”

While Johnson could not be reached for a quote about the canceled event, there seems to be a rift between the college’s Gay and Lesbian Student Alliance and the Black Student Union and on the handling of this situation.

Zoe LaFamina, the president of the school’s Gay and Lesbian Student Alliance, believes that Johnson’s rhetoric is “awful” and worries how his messages will impact “young, queer, people of color" on campus.

Meanwhile Demetrius Diakhate, the president of the Black Student Union, told the Baltimore Sun that he doesn’t think that it’s fair to cancel the event based on Johnson’s views and that by doing so “marginalizes Black students.”

What do you think? Should the school have canceled this event? Sound off in the comments section.

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(Photo: Douglas Schwartz/Corbis)

Written by Kellee Terrell


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