Howard U Students Show Outrage and Call the School 'Trump's Plantation' After Wayne Frederick Meets With Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15:  The Howard University Interdisciplinary Research Building is an 81,670 gross square foot, state of the art research facility on Georgia Avenue and W Street in Northwest Washington DC on April 15, 2016.  The research space creates synergies that lead to research opportunities among investigators across disciplines and provide core and user space to researchers on 

(Photo: Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Howard U Students Show Outrage and Call the School 'Trump's Plantation' After Wayne Frederick Meets With Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump

Even Morehouse College's president admits the HBCU initiative will not change much.

Published March 3, 2017

On Tuesday, after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos problematically compared of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to school choice, graffiti appeared on the campus of Howard University. 

In the statement issued by DeVos, she called HBCUs “real pioneers when it comes to school choice.” However, as history would have it, HBCUs were created in response to Black students being denied the same choice and freedoms to attend any educational institution. 

The president of Howard University, Wayne A.I. Frederick, met with DeVos after she became the Education Secretary. His decision to meet with her inspired much anger and protests from students around the campus. 

  1. After Howard's connection with several members of Trump's administration, tags appeared on campus calling the school 'Trump's Plantation'
  2. Additional protest graffiti called out Frederick for not hearing the concerns of Howard students
  3. During Howard's Charter Day, resistance groups spoke out during Frederick's opening address

    Many believe the pro-HBCU image Trump's administration is trying to portray is just a facade which will amount to nothing. 

    This past week, Donald Trump hosted leaders and presidents from HBCUs across the country to sign an executive order for the schools. However, many are now realizing the order will not increase funding to the schools.

  4. Morehouse College President John Wilson Jr. issued a statement Thursday that basically admitted the meeting in the oval office was just a photo op

    "Many had high hopes about this meeting.  There was much advance chatter about it being “historic,” and there were many signals from key Trump administration officials that they would surprise HBCUs with favorable treatment.  Given my experience in the Obama administration, I knew this would require an extraordinary announcement.  Why?  Because I knew that President Obama had invested $3 billion more in HBCUs in his first six years than President Bush invested in his final six years.  Therefore, since President Trump pledged to “do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before,” we could have reasonably expected him to get started by announcing at least an additional $500 million to HBCUs…this year!  And beside the expectation of new funding, there was advance talk of changes like an aspirational goal of 5 to 10 percent for federal agency funding to HBCUs, a special HBCU innovation fund, large boosts in Pell Grant and Title III funding, and extra tax breaks for those in the private sector who contribute to HBCUs.  But, instead of the long-awaited executive order containing or signaling any of those outcomes, the key change is a symbolic shift of the White House HBCU Initiative from the Department of Education to the White House.  It is not possible to measure the impact of this gesture anytime soon, if ever,  read Wilson's statement. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images)


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