“Blackface” is in the news again, and this time—surprisingly—a student at an HBCU is involved.

According to reports, a White student attending Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU in Texas, sparked a firestorm on social media when she posted a selfie of herself wearing blackface.

White student attending Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU in Texas, posted a selfie of herself wearing blackface. (Twitter Photo)

The image was reportedly posted on the student’s Snapchat feed with the caption, “When you just tryna fit in at your hbcu.”

The post went viral, and several Prairie View students and other HBCU supporters called for the offender—who several Twitter users identified as “Brooke”—to be punished, or even expelled.

“ATTENTION EVERYONE AT PVAMU @merino_brooke here would really like to fit in… Let’s make her feel welcome, shall we?!” tweeted user Jack Freeman—in clearly sarcastic tones—along with a photo of the student in blackface.

Others, however, felt the experience should be used as a teachable moment.  

“As a #PVAMU Leader, I encourage you all to help BUILD a person like Brooke & not DESTROY… No matter your frustration. Be the Change! #HBCU,” tweeted @OfficialCaliCal, a current student at Prairie View.

Still, another post expressed an underlying frustration that goes beyond the incident at Prairie View.

“I really find that black face sh-t these white kids are doing very disrespectful,” stated The HBCURoundTable in a Sept. 29 tweet.

Days earlier, officials at the University of North Dakota announced they were investigating two incidents involving White students who posted selfies of themselves in blackface on social media.

In one of the photos, four White students appear in black masks with the caption, “Black Lives Matter,” mocking the movement for racial equality in criminal justice. In the other, also posted on Snapchat, three students appear along with the words, “Locked the black b—h out.”

University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy decried the racist online postings, and said the incidents were being investigated.

“I am appalled that within 48 hours two photos with racially-charged messages have been posted on social media and associated with the UND campus community,” he said in a statement. “It is abundantly clear that we have much work to do at the University of North Dakota in educating our students, and the entire University community on issues related to diversity, inclusion, and respect for others.”

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO