The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

My Ghetto Graduation

Over the past weekend, I was fortunate to graduate from law school. I have not posted in a while because I have been busy getting prepared for this date. I won’t be posting much after this because I will be studying for the bar. But, at my graduation from an HBCU, the band put down their instruments to dance while people recieved degrees, people grabbed the mic and “shouted-out” their frats, family, and friends while people recieved their degrees, and fraternities and sororities party hopped around their seats while people recieved their degrees.

It was a sad day for black higher education. In a moment to celebrate, we looked like fools. This post is edited, as in a moment of bad judgment, I spoke of the fellow alumni in a maner unbecoming of them and myself. Name calling gets us no where. However, I still hold contempt for those who made my graduation a minstrel show. Can we ever hold ourselves out with dignity and respect. And, if not at graduation, then when? Just a question.

May 8, 2007 - Posted by | African American, Black men, Black women, college, ghetto, graduation, HBCU, Uncategorized, university


  1. Brother, I’m glad to see that you’re back. And I hate to see you leave again. But I certainly understand. While blogging can be entertaining and empowering, it doesn’t help you pass classes and exams.

    Even though I don’t know you, I’m glad to hear about your graduation. Congrads! I’m always glad to hear about brothers and sissters advancing themselves.

    I’m sorry to hear what happened at your graduation. I’m not that familiar with HBCU graduations. I graduated from University of North Texas with a BA back in 97. This summer, I’ll graduate from Texas Southern with a MA. Should I be bracing myself for a “ghetto graduation”? I can’t imagine such ignorance.

    Although I understand your fury and disdain for such behavior, I hate that it pushed you to describe your classmates with such harsh language.
    “we looked like niggers. Not niggas, but “nappy headed hoes” niggers.”
    I understand where you’re coming from… I just wish that you wouldn’t be so angry about it.

    Comment by Angie | May 11, 2007 | Reply

  2. You’re right. I should not have used such harsh language. What I saw was sad and fustrated me. I will change my post.

    Comment by youngblackman | May 11, 2007 | Reply

  3. Brother, I applaud you for being humble enough to even consider that you may have been wrong. Trust me, that type of character will carry you far in life.

    I know you’re frustrated. My people frustrate me every single day. But let’s not abuse the abused. We just have to keep working on each other in positive ways.

    Maybe with you being an Alpha and all, your classmates may listen to what you have to say. Maybe the younger folks coming behind you will take advice from you.

    I say that because I know how black students have a tendency to jock Greeks. It ain’t right. But use that influence to provoke positive change. Whatever it takes to create a difference…

    God bless you! I wish you the best with the bar. I pray you get it on the first go round.

    Comment by Angie | May 11, 2007 | Reply

  4. Thanks. I appreciate your comments. But, for clarification, I am not an Alpha although I am Greek.

    Comment by youngblackman | May 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. Young Brother, this is a late posting that I feel is for you as well as myself. I have been to graduation ceremonies and I too came away feeling so ashamed to look like the people who was rude and off the chain. It seem to me that as long as the Afr/Amers have a need to be “seen and heard” they will continue to act in such a negative way in situations that demands decorum. You know and I know the base of this malady is the destructions of our families. We have too many using “the single parent card”. The family gives one limitations and redress for one’s action. Amerikka is enjoying our misbehavior. So vent if you must… the ones that need to comply will not be reading your blogs… them chillin on BET.

    Comment by Larry 55x | December 23, 2007 | Reply

  6. Just viewed your blog – I’m a frustrated inner-city high school teacher and often times in my class I see my students exhibiting the same behavior – the comment “the need to be seen/heard” describes their needs exactly; sad to hear that behavior doesnt improve by college.

    I’m not African American – Im Caucasian, and I know I come from a different background than my students do, I wish I could get through to them, make them appreciate and be active in their own education, but often times Im forced to quell constant disruptions and bad attitudes.

    Anyways I applaud that you want to change the attitudes of others in your community – respect for self and for the process of learning is invaluable.

    Comment by Mr. mojo | February 13, 2008 | Reply

  7. I have been to graduations at various types of schools, which you have undoubtedly done as well. I don’t think it had some much with the “B” in HBCU.

    A few years ago I went to an undergraduate graduation at very respectable, predominately white public college. There were a handful of black graduates. I saw one white family member waving a checkered flag, another white family member blowing an air horn, and one of the few black family members chanting “whoop! there it is.” It’s not so much a black thing but perhaps a class thing. On the other hand, it could just be a exhibition of random individualism that has little association with anything other than a lack of etiquette.

    It’s poor etiquette to disrupt the ceremony but I will give it a pass. It’s good to see black people together for something other than funerals for a change. Those graduation antics sure beat the monotonous speeches! I’m ashamed to admit that I find misguided behavior amusing at times. Hopefully, these wildcard invitees have learned when and when not to wild out in public.

    Comment by Jay | April 25, 2008 | Reply

  8. Not a lotta love in this thread. And this isn’t to say we shouldn’t have standards. Whatever. But I can honestly imagine white reactionaries posting almost the same comments. How would we view these things coming from whites? And that isn’t to say whites and Black commentary is interchangeable. But we, as Black folk, need to have different standards of judging ourselves than white folks have of judging us. If brothers and sistas wanna celebrate years of work culminating in a law degree, why can’t they do that as they choose? Why must they be stoicly rational like typical white folks, in order for the display to be worthy of respect? Think about it.

    Comment by marcg | May 7, 2008 | Reply

  9. This thread is ridiculous. This dude graduate from a HBCU and bad mouths the graduates by the way they celebrate. WOW. I guess law school education nowdays exludes sociology.

    Comment by deuce | April 12, 2009 | Reply

  10. I am African American and graduated from UNC. Its not a racial thing you should see what happens at our graduations. People seems to enjoy the crazy acting so it might be you that is shameful of yourself and your people.

    Comment by Shawn A | December 2, 2013 | Reply

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