Tornadoes Close The Doors of The South’s First HBCU

April 18, 2011  |  

By J. Smith

Tornadoes took lives, homes, buildings and trees all across North Carolina this weekend, as well as a prized piece of black history. Shaw University, a historically black institution in Raleigh, NC, suffered such severe damage to the campus that the school announced it would close down for the rest of the semester. None of the students, faculty or staff were injured, The Root reports.

Although graduation exercises will still be held on May 7 and students will be graded on work they have already completed, a bigger question remains: will the black community rally around Shaw the same was it did when the city of Atlanta threatened to turn off the water at Morris Brown College?

Reports from the site of the disaster identify a set of bleachers, garbage cans and other objects strewn across the campus. Several vehicles were damaged, as well as the windows in some of the rooms in the high rise dormitories, according to The Root.

The fate of Shaw, a member of the HBCU family and product of the black community’s sacrifice in 1865, is now in the hands of their 2011 descendents. We can either let the class walking across the stage on May 7 be the last or we can make sure students can still receive an education at the first HBCU established in the South.

Read more: N.C. Tornadoes Kill 22, Shut Down HBCU

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