The University of California Berkeley finds itself embroiled in controversy as it hosts an exclusive “black-only graduation ceremony,” which directly contradicts the principles of racial equality and integration established during the Civil Rights movement.
The African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley announced in March that they would be holding their annual “Black Graduation” ceremony for students in May.
“The Department of African American Studies plans on hosting our annual Black Graduation ceremony, which is open to all majors and degree programs across the campus,” read the announcement.
On Saturday, UC Berkeley held its black-only graduation at Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley.
“Black Graduation is an annual, campus-wide ceremony that celebrates all Black/African/African American identifying students upon completion of their undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D., J.D., and/or professional degree programs,” the live stream caption read.
Campus Reform reported that the university’s separate graduation for African American students has been going on annually since 2013.
The exclusive nature of the ceremony raises concerns about conflicts with the principles of equality and integration that were established during the Civil Rights movement.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, prohibits racial discrimination in public accommodations, which includes educational institutions. The act aimed to dismantle segregation and create a society where individuals are treated equally, irrespective of their race.
“We’re disheartened to see universities like Columbia and now Berkeley veer so far to the left that they’re resurrecting Democrats’ segregationist history,” California College Republicans Communications Director Dylan Martin told Campus Reform.
“Encouraging our separation into groups – saying there should be something separate and special for different races – furthers the division in this country. The solution to racism is not segregation. CCR is happy to represent all College Republicans in the state in condemning these segregationist actions,” Martin said.
The University of California Berkeley proudly hosts a “black only graduation ceremony,” where participation is based on race, contradicting the very laws established during the Civil Rights movement, which vehemently outlawed racial segregation.pic.twitter.com/icfiwCIgcC
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) May 21, 2023
Below is the full two and a half hour ceremony: