The Black Political Review

HBCU Homecoming Queen Elisabeth Martin

HBCU Homecoming Queen Elisabeth Martin

From: Black Voices Black Spin, Dr. Boyce Watkins, PHD

Kentucky State University is an HBCU which lies next to my heart. My sister, who just finished medical school, spent her undergraduate career there, so I was kept in the loop when the world seemed to flip on its head regarding who the students chose to hold the title of Miss Kentucky State University. As you can see, she’s not exactly what one would expect an HBCU Homecoming Queen to look like, but Elisabeth Martin’s skin color likely reflects one of the many faces that define Historically Black colleges in the new millennium. So, while I was personally dismayed that Kentucky State University (along with many HBCUs around the nation) seems to be forgetting about the importance of having African American faculty, the truth is that we are in an era in which one needs to determine what it means to be an HBCU.

Personally, I love the fact that the students at Kentucky State chose Elisabeth Martin as their homecoming queen. Martin, a 21-year old International Studies major, won the crown by a landslide, dominating the competition. It has been her race, however, that has sent shock waves through the Kentucky State University community. But Martin takes the heat in stride and carries herself with a grace and class that should make the campus proud. The fact that the students love her so much is verified by her love for the campus and commitment to school spirit. She has also handled the national media attention like a true queen should.

To read the complete article click here.

So what do you think?

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Comments on: "White HBCU Homecoming Queen Fights Major Drama" (7)

  1. Anonymous said:

    She is a good representation for the School. Her views are well spoken and present a strong justification why she was chosen.

  2. When things like this happen, I take them as a very positive sign, a sign that we are finally–finally!–beginning to look a little bit more at people’s genuine performance quality, rather than their skin color, nationality, etc. It is common now for individuals of all races to gain academic or social recognition, as it should be, considering these things should not be an issue of race in the first place. I like to think that 20 or so years from now, things will be so performance-based that even the media will not focus on race 24/7, be it in regard to positive or negative discrimination.

    All this said–and I know plenty would strongly disagree with me, but–I am somewhat sad that there are “black schools.” Shouldn’t there just be schools? I realize that this is not full segregation or anything near it (clearly), but it becomes that way a little, naturally. I personally see that as unfortunate, because I think it’s healthy for people of all races and cultures to mingle and get to know one another; that’s surely one of the best ways to put an end to stereotypes and other issues.

    • Blackness said:

      Ms. Thomas, thank you kindly for your thoughts regarding the post about the Homecoming Queen. The only thing I’d somewhat challenge you on is the need to have “Black Schools.” As you know, if the world were round and fair there would be no need for such a system. However, how do you feel about schools classified by gender (male or female schools) or religion (Catholic, Mormon, etc.)? Would you argue that those institution need not exist as well? They all serve a purpose and fortunately today, people of all races, religions, and genders can attend schools of their choice. “Black School” provide a necessary service to a population that has traditionally been discriminated against historically.

      The story does provide a ray of sunshine in a sometimes dark view of the world.

      • I won’t argue their right to exist at all, as I believe in living in as free of a society as possible, and I certainly believe they have historically had a purpose. However, I personally think that today many of those institutions promotes misunderstanding between races, religions and sexes, even if accidentally or indirectly. While I understand the desire to be with groups of people that we perceive as our own (for whatever reason), I think it’s sad that we entertain that, when in reality we must thankfully interact with people from all walks of life. I believe that when we separate ourselves, especially in education, we limit ourselves. We teach ourselves to live in a separate world, often, I think, without even realizing it.

        What do we teach our children and our young adults, when we put them in these schools? We certainly don’t teach them that everyone can get along. Even if we say they do or can, the fact that we don’t physically move any closer to doing that does send a message.

        I’m American (from Mississippi), and I’ve been living in Australia for the last few years. Here, at least in Melbourne, there are many boys’ schools and girls’ schools. The segregation is pretty extreme. It’s just the way it is. What I notice, though, is so few young girls will even talk to boys, and vice-versa. I also see a bit more sexism on the boys’ parts, when they do talk to the occasional girl; adult male chauvinism does seem worse here, too, I’ll say. (This is purely anecdotal, by the way–stuff I have witnessed on the streets and in public transport, and stuff that’s happened to me.) I do think there is a correlation between the segregated learning and lives and the way people treat each other.

        My thing is that I want everyone to be comfortable with communicating with each other, because I think that’s the only path to progress, and I think the only way we do that is to practice. What better place to practice than in a place of learning?

        Thanks for posting this entry, by the way. I’d missed this bit of news until reading it!

      • Blackness said:

        Ms. Thomas thank you for sharing your experience and your understanding. We hope that you visit with us again. We can agree that isms of any kind continue to keep humanity back.

        Respect.

      • I think its very ignorant for people to say that HBCUs are irrelevant or destructive. I go to Spelman and there we learn how to better be able to accept ourselves so that we can be confident going out into the world as underdogs and minorities. The high school I went to was 90% white and my most of fellow black students were not achieving. I was constantly being set apart as both the token black girl. Going to an HBCU helps girls like me not feel so alone. I think its fine that people of other races are increasingly attending schools like mine, but we should not forget that HBCUs still have a purpose. The racism of the past still affects students today. I’m sorry, but PEOPLE STILL NOTICE SKIN COLOR. Fortunately, many people are not prejudice anymore, but trust me, we still feel different. It is important for HBCU queens to be an example to younger African American girls that black is beautiful–that they are beautiful. If this girl won fair ans square then there’s nothing to argue about. On the other hand, do not undermine the necessity of black schools.

      • Blackness said:

        Well said Chelsea! And glad to know we have another educated, Black Woman that’s ready to take her place in this world!

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