Cambridge, MA (WMC) - May is the time of year when students from high school and universities all across the nation walk across the stage, accept their diploma, and embark on a new phase in their life. One Ivy League university is making history by holding a black-only graduation.
Harvard University will hold a black-only graduation ceremony for graduate students on Tuesday, May 23.
According to an article in The Root, one Harvard graduating student said the black-only graduation is not about segregation, but instead it is about fellowship.
The Boston Globe reports the Harvard graduation will be held two days before the traditional graduation, which will be held May 25. The students are also planning to attend the traditional commencement ceremony, featuring Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg as featured speaker. That means the students will have two graduations to attend - one that celebrates their struggles and achievements and the other that celebrates with all the rest of their classmates university-wide.
According to the Globe, the students will wear African inspired attire during the black-only graduation, including an African kente cloth.
The event is being called Black Commencement 2017 and is the first of its kind at Harvard for black students. The Globe reports that more than 170 students and 530 are registered to attend the ceremony.
According to The Root, Harvard holds the highest graduation rate for black students--96 percent of undergraduate students receive their diploma.
It appears Black Commencement 2017 has been organized by students on campus and is not a university sponsored event.