Racism Rears Its Ugly Head at Duke University

dukeuniversitylogoA Black student at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, reported that while she was walking across campus during the early morning hours, she was subjected to the same racist song that appeared recently on a video of SAE fraternity members at the University of Oklahoma. (See JBHE item on the University of Oklahoma incident here.)

Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, and Sally Kornbluth, provost at Duke, issued a joint statement that read in part:

“Inclusivity and mutual respect are core values for any civil society, but they have a special meaning in a university. Thinking in stereotypes is a failure of intelligence. A university is based on the premise that we are all here to learn from each other, which requires a broad measure of inclusion and openness to others’ experience and points of view. Every member of our community has the right to safety and respect. When any one of us is harmed through the actions of others, we are all harmed.”

Days later, a noose was found hanging from a tree on the Bryan Center Plaza on the Duke campus. A group called the Duke People of Color Caucus released a statement that read, “This campus is not a safe space, and has proven beyond any doubt that it is a hostile environment for any and all Black people.”

A protest march and a rally attended by more than 1,000 people were held on campus. The university announced that a Duke student admitted hanging the noose and has since left campus.

Related Articles


  1. It is now understood by everyone, including the student who confessed to the school administration, that THE NOOSE WAS HUNG BY A BLACK STUDENT. We can only speculate about his or her agenda. If you want to write about a tough subject, you should delve into the pressures and psychology of a bright young Afro-American student at an elite college, and why he or she would resort to this kind of action. It is a subject for a carefully thought out and researched book; not a catchy headline, which ultimately is not true.

  2. What has occurred with the above incident on the Duke Campus is only a microcosm of American college campuses everywhere in the United States. This is the price African Americans have to pay for racial integration because of their misguided warped belief that historically White Colleges are superior than HBCU’s. The “white is right syndrome” permeates through out the physic of our present day African American population.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Students at Three HBCUs in New Orleans to Participate in Power of Prosperity Initiative

The Power of Prosperity program will help remove barriers to students’ academic success by providing students and their families with free access to financial support and resources.

Yale University Scholar Wins Early Career Physics Award

Charles D. Brown II, an assistant professor of physics at Yale University, has been selected as the winner the Joseph A. Johnson Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Physics and the National Society of Black Physicists.

Three African Americans Appointed to New Administrative Posts at Universities

Arthur Lumzy Jr. is the new director of student career preparedness at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Sandra L. Barnes was named associate provost for undergraduate education and student success at Alcorn State University in Mississippi and Roberto Campos-Marquetti has been appointed assistant vice president for staff and labor relations at Duke University.

North Carolina A&T State University to Debut New Graduate Programs in Criminal Justice

The university's criminal justice master’s and doctoral programs are designed to provide high-quality graduate education and training in criminal justice with the four areas of specialization: investigative science, digital forensics, research methodology, and social justice.

Featured Jobs