Four White Students at Colorado State Posed for Photo In Blackface

Four White students at Colorado State University appeared in a photograph in blackface that was posted on social media. The caption read “Wakanda forevaa,” referring to the character in the film Black Panther.

One of the four students issued an apology on social media: “This photo of four White students in blackface is indeed horrendous, and understandably appears to portray four racists making fun of African Americans,” she wrote. “The hurtful impact of this photo on minorities is real, but this photo is not the whole story. I am not going to allow a photo, the news media nor CSU to do the talking for me. Just as those who have been hurt have a voice, so do I, and I too am entitled to be heard no less than those who have been offended.”

Kaplan went on to say that the incident “is now damaging my life and placing a stigma on future employment and advanced education.”

In a statement to a local newspaper, Kaplan said that “the damage done to me is way out of proportion to an act of poor judgment during a moment of silliness.” She claims she has received over 60 death threats on social media.

In an email to the college community Joyce McConnell, president of Colorado State University stated that  “because of the long and ugly history of blackface in America, this photo has caused a great deal of pain to members of our community.” But she went on to say that “we also affirm that personal social media accounts are not under our jurisdiction. Our community members — students, faculty and staff — can generally post whatever they wish to post on their personal online accounts in accordance with their First Amendment rights.” The four White students will not be punished.

African Americans make up just 2 percent of the nearly 26,000 member undergraduate student body at Colorado State University, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education.

Related Articles

3 COMMENTS

  1. Not surprising at all. This type of insecure White racist behavior at Colorado State University is indicative of White America. The implicitly racist and dismissive CSU president Joyce McConnell should be FIRED for her Complicity.

  2. Colleges routinely scan social media accounts of applicants and refuse admission to those with racist and sexist displays. For the CSU president to say blackface is a first amendment right is a lie; expel the students and fire the president.

  3. The administration at Colorado State condones this racial behavior that is very clear. If your social media account can be used to make a decision of your entrance into the school. I sure am an example of the school code violation. The students need to protest and get the media involved to show how the administrations there are incompetent and not protecting their students.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs