Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

The HBCU Bomb Threats Are an Attack on Black People

In the first week of Black History Month, a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities were at the receiving end of bomb threats. This comes against a larger backdrop of racist attacks on Black liberation and Black education.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

February 2, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

It’s the first week of Black History Month and over a dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities were threatened with a bomb. Thirteen bomb threats at HBCUs were reported on February 1. They include Southern, Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, Bowie State, and Albany State. Campuses asked students to shelter in place and reverted to remote learning as a result.

This is the second time in a month that HBCUs have been targeted. Eight were targeted with false bomb threats on January 5.

On January 12 Charles R. Drew University received a bomb threat from a white man who identifies as a neo-Nazi. He claimed to have planted three titanium nitrite sulfuric bombs that would detonate on a Sunday afternoon. In his emailed letter, he wrote, “I want to show the Black population what the white man can do, we will take back our land!”

Howard University also had a bomb threat on January 31.

Now, as of February 1, well over a dozen HBCUs have been threatened. And threats take on special significance due to their date.

Calvert White, a 22-year-old studying social science and education at Jackson state, said, “HBCUs have a long history of physical threats just because of our existence. I think that the threats aren’t individual or coincidental — that it’s a clear attack on Black students who choose to go to Black schools.”

It is the first week of Black History Month, meant to celebrate Black struggle and resistance. These threats take place in a moment of growing reaction to the struggle for Black liberation, threats that include attempts to ban teaching the truth of this nation’s racism and the rich struggle against it. Classic and brilliant books such as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye are being banned, and states like Virginia have set up “tip lines” to report teachers.

Clearly these bomb threats have the effect of terrorizing the Black community, sending a message that the study and remembering of Black struggle and Black resistance will be met with white supremacist hatred and terror. It comes on the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement and the reactionary advance of the Far Right in the past two years.

HBCUs have long been targets of white supremacist terror. As W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), “The opposition to Negro education in the South was at first bitter, and showed itself in ashes, insult and blood; for the South believed an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro; and the South was not wholly wrong.”

And in more recent history, Lawrence Lomabardi planted and detonated two pipe bombs on Florida A&M University.

It is difficult to view these bomb threats as a coincidence. In all likelihood, they are a white supremacist attack on Black History Month and on Black education. These threats should be taken seriously — the emboldened Far Right should not be underestimated. They are trying to bar Black history from curricula, and now they are attacking historically Black colleges.

It is essential that we organize and mobilize in solidarity with the students and staff who will walk back onto campus to repudiate these attacks. This can and should include self-defense and safety committees to ensure the safety of students, staff, and teachers at HBCUs. And it is essential that we mobilize and organize against all instances of white supremacy — from book bans to attempts to control curricula to these attacks on HBCUs.

Facebook Twitter Share

Tatiana Cozzarelli

Tatiana is a former middle school teacher and current Urban Education PhD student at CUNY.

United States

In Standoff Over Cop City, Police Are the Real Terrorists

For over two years, the protests and occupations against a police training center in Atlanta, Georgia flew under the radar of the mainstream press. Now, after the police murder of land defender Manuel Teran and the arrest of 19 protesters on charges of domestic terrorism, the standoff has gained national attention. But in the battle to defend the Weelaunee Forest and the people of Atlanta from the development of the massive “Cop City” training center, it is the Atlanta Police Department and the state that have been acting like terrorists.

James Dennis Hoff

January 27, 2023

Say His Name! Justice for Tyre Nichols

As the video footage of the police murder of Tyre Nichols is released today, it will be important for everyone who is against police violence to stand in solidarity and defend and join in the mobilizations demanding justice for his murder.

Tristan Taylor

January 27, 2023
Republicans Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy talk during the House Speakership votes.

The Rise of the Proto-Fascist Right Highlights the Crisis of the Whole System

The recent fight over Kevin McCarthy’s becoming Speaker of the House reveals how divided and polarized the Republican Party is. Out of this crisis, a proto-fascist wing of the Republican Party has emerged, strengthened and empowered after extracting concessions from the GOP establishment.

Ezra Brain

January 23, 2023
A meeting of the new Detroit Tenants Association

Tenants and Allies across Detroit Meet to Organize for Renters’ Rights

Tenants in Detroit are getting together to create a citywide organization to help fight against housing insecurity and slumlords and for renters’ rights.

Tristan Taylor

January 11, 2023


SOUTHCOM Chief Aims to Increase Imperialist Plunder of Latin America’s Resources

U.S. Southern Command Chief Laura Richardson has expressed interest in lithium and other natural resources in South America. It shows the country’s commitment to corporate profits at the expense of workers, Indigenous people, and the environment.

Luigi Morris

January 26, 2023

The Peruvian Uprising: Massive Protests Demand the Fall of the Coup Regime and a Constituent Assembly

Peru has erupted in a massive uprising demanding that President Dina Boluarte resign, that the current Congress be shut down, and that a new constitution be established. The protests are the culmination of years of political oppression of the country’s indigenous communities, drastic poverty rates and precarity for Peru’s workers and poor, and a political regime that continues the legacy of Alberto Fujimori’s dictatorship.

All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: Two Years of U.S. Imperialism under Biden

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss the terrain of U.S. imperialism under the first two years of the Biden presidency, and the importance of an internationalist, anti-imperialist Left.

Left Voice

January 24, 2023

National Guard Seeks to Double Size of its Largest Training Site

The National Guard is proposing to more than double its Camp Grayling training site in Michigan. The super polluter seeks to deepen its ties with private contractors and develop tools of surveillance and punishment.

Joe Garofalo

January 24, 2023