Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper, AFRO Publisher, Johns Hopkins Alum
AFRO Publisher, Rev. Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper, weighs in on current events.

On SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling: “The Supreme Court majority’s ruling is a shameful step backwards for equality, education, and the pursuit of prosperity for Black students in particular. This outcome reaffirms the importance of teaching and understanding Black history, rather than ignore it, as the majority justices are keen to do. 

The decision to reject Affirmative Action reaffirms the barriers of systemic racism, and denies decades of hard-earned progress in the fight for educational equity. While that fight was dealt a blow, we at the AFRO remain determined to advocate for Black voices in the classroom and beyond.”  

On NAACP’s press conference & lack of transparency w/ Police Commissioner: “The Mayor’s process for appointing Baltimore’s new police commissioner has been neither transparent nor democratic. While the police commissioner serves at the pleasure of the Mayor, the Mayor serves at the pleasure of the people, and the people deserve transparency. 

Our new commissioner may indeed come from within the Baltimore Police Department or elsewhere, but our community is owed access to a fair and open process. We at the AFRO echo the calls from Baltimore’s NAACP chapter, and our city’s civil rights partners.” 

On student loan ruling: “Once again, the Supreme Court majority has ruled against the interests of Black Americans. Our community is disproportionately impacted by student debt, with Black graduates holding $25,000 more than White graduates, and an average balance of over $52,000 nationwide. Further, our state of Maryland, which is 29 percent Black, has the highest average student loan debt per borrower, exceeding $42,000.

By discarding $400 billion in relief, the court’s decision will add to the undue burden Black students face in pursuit of higher education and economic opportunity. 

The work to achieve educational and economic justice must continue, no matter how the efforts to deny our freedoms.”