An HBCUs Matter Movement

JEFFREY L. BONEY | 10/5/2015, 1:02 p.m. | Updated on 10/6/2015, 1:10 p.m.
The Black Lives Matter Movement isn’t the only movement that has created a hashtag that has caught on like a ...

(NNPA) – The Black Lives Matter Movement isn’t the only movement that has created a hashtag that has caught on like a wildfire amongst young, Black people – at least for Black youth in Houston.

Texas Southern University students have started a movement called #TakeBackTxSU, calling the university to task for what they consider to be a lack of concern for student issues, and more importantly, for what they believe is an attempt by the current administration to abandon the roots of TSU as a Historically Black College and University.

The movement and hashtag were created by Christina Letsinger, a junior, studying communications at TSU.

She believes TSU has become extremely divided, and that the university should not be, especially with it being an HBCU.

“The hashtag, #TakeBackTxSU, was not to bash or disrespect TSU or its administration,” Letsinger said. “It was created because we love TSU and we want to see it prosper. We have to come together and stick together because WE ARE ONE TSU.”

Letsinger states the three reasons she created the hashtag were to: (1) bring back the culture and tradition to the TSU campus that has been stripped from TSU by the current administration; (2) shed light on issues like financial aid, housing, lack of technology, building maintenance; and (3) unite TSU back to one school.

“Being that we are an HBCU, it does not make me feel good that our culture and traditions are being taken away and covered up,” Letsinger said. “We’re proud to be an HBCU and these issues must be addressed and no longer ignored or pushed under the rug by this administration.”

Many of the students at TSU have taken to social media to show solidarity and their support for the movement by sharing the hashtag, along with other memes and messages for all to see.

The local NAACP chapter tweeted its support for the movement, saying:

“NAACP supports the #TakeBackTxSU movement. We are in full support of bringing back the heritage and culture of our HBCU.”

Other students and alumni have shared their grievances and concerns about the current administration’s handling of TSU and its legacy. One of the biggest concerns was a recruitment video that was produced and released by TSU administrators that featured several TSU students – none of the students on the recruitment video for this HBCU were African American, however.

One concerned person, ladyoliviamd, wrote on social media:

“Currently, Texas Southern University’s administration is systematically eliminating the history and the culture that a Historically Black College and University encompasses, particularly the essence of TSU and community presence that the school has in Third Ward, Houston, Texas, and masking it with the claims of increasing the school’s diversity. I am very disappointed that the students are wanting and fighting to preserve the legacy of TSU more than the administration. The most recent recruitment video TSU released did not have one person of color in the video, President Rudley has on numerous occasions taken away what makes TSU, like the removal of the organization trees on the yard as well as painting over murals of the great painter John T. Biggers as well as his students. We cannot allow this Poisonous Administration to destroy Texas Southern University. I challenge Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and students to speak up against the wrongs of the current administration.”