Northwestern professors sign letter in support of black students

Alice Yin, Assistant Campus Editor

Six Northwestern faculty members have joined black professors across the United States in signing a letter of solidarity with black students.

The letter, titled “An Open Letter of Love to Black Students: #BlackLivesMatter,” addressed racism against black students and promised support from black professors. It was published Monday on Black Space, a blog for black female writers. More than 800 professors had signed the letter as of Tuesday afternoon.

Professors expressed support for those protesting the deaths of young black people, including Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Renisha McBride and Trayvon Martin. The fatal August shooting of Brown, an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer has sparked protests across the country. A grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, has also spurred many responses on college campuses.

“We’re writing to tell you we see you and hear you,” professors wrote in the letter. “We write this in solidarity with you, Black students, here and elsewhere, and with those on the ground for over 100 days, four and a half hours, two seconds.”

The professors denounced the acts of hate committed on their campuses, such as hanging dolls by nooses and liberally using racial slurs. The letter stressed the struggle black students have feeling invisible in predominantly white schools.

“They don’t care much about retaining us no matter how many times they misuse pretty words like diversity, or insult us with the hard slap of minority,” the letter said.

The letter ended with a pledge from its signers to continue fighting for tolerance at their colleges for the black community.

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