Southern University to Award Degrees to Black Students Slain on Campus in 1972

On November 16, 1972 Leonard Douglas Brown and Denver A. Smith were murdered on the campus of Southern University in Baton Rouge. The killings followed a tense month of student protests about unequal funding for the historically Black university. Police were called to campus to remove Black student protestors from the president’s office. Tear gas was used and during the ensuing melee, the two students were shot dead from shotgun blasts. No one was ever charged with the murders.

Now 45 years later, Southern University has decided to award the two slain students posthumous degrees at this spring’s commencement ceremonies. In 1992, the student center at the university was renamed to honor Brown and Smith.

Below is a video of spoken word poetry inspired by the incident at Southern University.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

"Ultimately, Pennsylvania's leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students," says Senator Art Haywood. "The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania's Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required."

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman Appointed President of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

"I appreciate the support I have received from my faculty and trainee colleagues here at UC San Diego along with colleagues from around the world," says Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman. "Together we will work to advance our field and our reach, improving patient outcomes and eliminating health disparities."

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Featured Jobs