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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Share Your Experience With Race on Campus

A hashtag for Joshua Lott for The New York Times A hashtag for “Being Black at the University of Michigan” was displayed as students and faculty members waited to attend a demonstration hosted by the United Coalition for Racial Justice at the University of Michigan in February.

For my article today on racism on college campuses, I spoke with students from around the country about how race is still very much an issue for young Americans despite openness to interracial dating, marriage and friendships. I also read dozens of posts on Twitter and other social media platforms and used Facebook to help find people to interview.

We would like to include your story here. Tell us about your experience with race at your college or university. You can share your comments below or on Twitter, using the hashtag #TellNYT.

In the article, some young people rejected the notion of a post-racial society, saying they had no interest in stripping away their identity. Others said they did not see a colorblind society, particularly as racial incidents on college campuses continued to mount.

Within the past few months, a noose was hung around the neck of a bronze statue of James Meredith, the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi. Flyers filled with racist and sexist language against Asian-American women were posted on the campus at the University of California, Los Angeles. At Arizona State University, a fraternity held a party on Martin Luther King’s Birthday and posted photos of their members, who were mostly white, drinking out of watermelon cups and flashing gang signs.

And at the University of Michigan, a group of black students were initially offended by a party thrown by a fraternity whose members are mostly white and Asian, which invited students “back to da hood again.” The black students then began a social media campaign called “Being Black at the University if Michigan” with the hashtag #BBUM. They urged students of color to share how they experience race on campus.

In 140 characters or less, hundreds of students did, and it has become a national campaign and re-ignited student activism on campus.

In many of their posts, as we reported on The Lede, it was often what some might consider small gestures that left the biggest effect, or caused the most pain.

A few examples:

Please tell us your experience with race on your campus on Twitter, in 140 characters or less, with the hashtag #TellNYT. Or share your story in the comments below. Thank you.

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