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My eyes watered. But my spirit was comforted. I didn’t attend Howard University, but I’ve never been more proud to attend an HBCU than on September 21, 2011.

As Troy Davis awaited his fate, HBCU students were fighting to keep him alive. An image I will never forget circulated the ‘net of HU students protesting along the White House fence with fists raised and mouths taped as they sat on the cement. Silence seems to be upon the students, but the photograph, their call to action said so much without a word being spoken. Down in Atlanta 200 students from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse and Spelman loaded buses to travel to the prison in Jackson, GA where Troy Davis spent the last second of his life.

Again, I was proud to be a graduate of an HBCU.

From Tennessee State University professor Crystal A. deGregory’s “Rainbows in the Clouds of Troy Davis: Student Activism at Howard, Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta”:

While it is easy view the execution as evidence of failure of activists to stop it, I’m reminded of Mother Maya’s challenge to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. As activists, these HBCUs students accepted that challenge. They were rainbows in Troy Davis’ cloud. I hope that these young HBCU activists are reminded of this fact today. Just as the thousands upon thousands of HBCU activists before them, they now know the joys and sorrows of standing up for that which they believe.

After all, Mother Maya never said there wouldn’t be rain.”

Read the full story on HBCU Digest.

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