ANALYSIS: Black College Students Describe Tense Racial Climate

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  • Black students at the University of Michigan are describing their college experience at the prestigious Ann Arbor institution with one provocative word: Racism. “Our list of demands came out of a tense racial climate that is being experienced not only at Michigan, but at college campuses around the United States,” Tyrell Collier, the president of the Black Student Union, told BET.com.

    “I think we’re in a period where universities are lacking in their ability to foster a sense of inclusion on campuses,” said Collier, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, majoring in sociology and African-American studies. “I don’t think they are doing enough to promote interaction between people of different races and different cultural backgrounds.”

    It’s unfortunate that 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination based on skin color, black students who are enrolled at the University of Michigan — and other predominantly white colleges in America — need what Collier describes as “tough skin.” Collier and other black students at the University of Michigan make up 5% of some 28,000 undergraduate students.

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