89.1 WEMU

Racist Expression Has Long History In The Ypsilanti Area

Sep 21, 2016

EMU Professor of Africology and African-American Studies Ronald Woods
Credit Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

Experts in African-American history say the racist graffiti that was found at Eastern Michigan University early Tuesday morning is nothing new in the area.   


Ronald Woods is a professor of Africology and African-American Studies at EMU.  He says these types of racist messages were common when slavery ended.   Many of them read "Go Back to Africa"--not too different from the one that was found on the wall at King Hall on campus.

"It does reflect an America that is still, even at this current time, has individuals and currents that are not comfortable with the presence of African-descent persons in this country."

Woods added that a big difference between now and then is that these types of messages are not ignored and are widely reported by the media.

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— Jorge Avellan is the Ann Arbor beat reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News.  Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu