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Life in a Shanty Town

October 22 · Issue #349 · View online

The hip-hop newsletter that's not afraid to ask the tough questions


Internets,
This week, I was saddened to hear that students at Howard University, one of America’s most prestigious HBCUs, are fed up with conditions in the residence halls to the point where they’ve taken to occupying an administration building.
I always assumed that accommodations at HBCUs were as luxurious as you’d imagine them being based on incessant remarks from some of the most obnoxious people on Black People Twitter.
Did Howard used to be really nice back when Ta-Nehisi Coates was there? I don’t recall reading about any slum-like conditions in Between the World and Me. It couldn’t have been cut for length, because that book was like 79 pages long.
According to an article I skimmed in Insider, there’s mold in the vents, rats and roaches in the café, and worse, some people can’t even afford to live there.
Imagine being so hard up that you can’t afford to live in a place that people are protesting because of how gross it is. It might be time to rethink this whole college thing.
Is there such a thing as a historically black community college—an HBCC, if you will? I guess many community colleges already are historically black institutions, in a sense. Multiple generations of my family attended one here in the STL. Perhaps needless to say, we’re successful.
Students at HU are also upset about rising tuition rates. They wanna know why it costs $40,000 a year to live in a building with mold in the vents… which suggests to me that the quality of the instruction there might also be an issue.
Are these people not aware that there’s a separate fee called room and board that covers the cost of living in the dorms? Hence the name.
That $40,000 is going to pay Nikole Hannah-Jones to read from the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project and maybe discuss personnel issues at the paper from her perspective as the de facto director of HR, which might actually be interesting, if not $40,000 interesting.
If the dorms at HU are so run down, and room and board is so high, you’d think that students would be able to find better housing elsewhere for less money, albeit maybe not as close to their classes.
I know many of the students there are immigrants, non-ADOS blacks, the offspring of America’s few rich black people and even some white people. Maybe they can ask their parents for some money.
Two other things to consider:
1) Howard is in fact a black school. Has it not occurred to them to have a fish fry? Presumably, there’s at least one girl there who’s authentically black enough to fry some fish.
I wouldn’t travel to DC for a fish sandwich, even if it’s for a good cause, but if I lived nearby I might stop by on the reg. Maybe there’s some decent-looking light-skinned black chicks. I could discover the next Kamala Harris, and proceed to defile her.
2) I hear a lot of female college students are making a lot of money these days on OnlyFans. Some of them are making enough that they don’t even have to go to college, though they certainly could if they wanted to for some reason.
Some of the girls at HU might not be able to charge a premium, but maybe they could charge a discounted rate and make up the difference in volume. Imagine if you could subscribe to 100 HBCU students’ OnlyFans for a flat $5 monthly fee.
Even if they couldn’t make enough money for room and board, they could take whatever they make and spend it on cleaning supplies. Is it not possible to clean mold from vents? If the café weren’t as filthy, maybe it wouldn’t attract rats and roaches.
There might be a solution to this problem just yet!
Take it easy on yourself,
Bol

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