When President Donald Trump met with leaders from historically Black colleges and universities in February, it sparked a backlash. Students and alumni criticized the decision of HBCU presidents to meet with a man who paved his way to the White House by making a series of offensive comments about African-Americans and other racial groups. At Howard University, graffiti turned up criticizing the school’s president, Wayne Frederick, for accepting the meeting.
“Welcome to the Trump plantation. Overseer: Wayne A.I. Frederick” read one message. Another mimicked Kanye West’s criticism of George W. Bush: “Wayne Frederick Doesn’t Care About Black People.”
But at the time, HBCU leaders thought the executive order Trump had signed regarding Black colleges was revolutionary. The order shifted the Initiative on HBCUs from the Department of Education to the White House’s executive office with the goal of making these educational institutions more financially stable and economically empowering for students. Fast forward to August, however, and not only haven’t HBCUs received any additional funding from the federal government, but Trump also has yet to appoint an executive director for the initiative, casting doubt on his claim earlier this year that supporting HBCUs was an “absolute priority.” (Atlanta Black Star)