There are probably over a thousand reasons I chose to attend Howard University. Between the legendary alumni and prestigious name, my decision wasn’t very hard, and finding out that Howard University was the only historically Black university to offer a Classics program was the icing on the cake. So you can imagine my disappointment when Howard University’s board of trustees announced their decision to cut the classics department this fall.
The classics department was established in 1867, the same year the prestigious HBCU was founded. The department quickly became a mecca for learning about Black people and their contributions to antiquity, but over the last decade, the program has been dissolving.
Howard University stopped offering a classics major in 2009 after a commission to review the university’s degree programs recommended the removal of the classics major.
While the department itself will be closed come fall 2021, students will still be able to minor in classics, and the antiquity courses formerly held in the classics department will be available in other departments.
“We obviously believe that the content that we offer in classics is important, but we also must contemporize that teaching with practical application,” Dr. Wutoh, provost and chief academic officer at Howard University, told the New York Times.
In 2017, another review of Howard University’s academic programs based on enrollment and matriculation suggested that the university dissolve the classics department because it does not provide major courses and general courses can be taken through other departments.
According to Dr. Wutoh, limited funding, low enrollment, and low student interest were reasons for the closing of the historic department.
The board of trustees of the university have approved of the department’s four tenured faculty members to remain within the College of Arts and Sciences, while the contracts of four non-tenured faculty members will not be renewed.
Dr. Prather, one of the non-tenured faculty members of the classics department, said in an interview that seeing the department dissolved was disheartening at a university where the study of antiquity is told from a Black perspective.
Dr. Prather says she focuses on “tearing down the colonization of our minds.” She takes students on a voyage through time starting with Blacks in antiquity all the way up to Black people in the present day. The journey emphasizes that slavery is only one piece of the many experiences of Black people.
At Howard University, the classics department is a rebuttal to arguments that perceive the study of the ancient Greco-Roman world as an erasure of Black heritage.
Students learn how common themes in antiquity are present in the works of our most esteemed political leaders such as Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass read the speakers of Cicero and many other classic texts and dialogues.
What does the disbandment of the classics department mean for Howard students pursuing antiquity, better yet, what does the disbandment mean for the entire field of antiquity?
The classics field is suffering from unrelentless white-washing. Howard University’s classics department plays a pivotal role in creating a pipeline of Black people in the field of antiquity.
Closing the classics department at Howard University, the only classics department at a historically Black university, is allowing the field of antiquity to continue to be told from white narratives. At a time where the contributions to society by Black people are being covered up by white experts in the field, Howard University’s goal should be to continue being the backbone of diversity in the classics field. Black people in antiquity is crucial to exposing the true history of not only Black people, but Western civilization as well.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.