More Than a Dozen HBCUs Faced Bomb Threats on First Day of Black History Month

On Tuesday, the first day of Black History Month, more than a dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the U.S. had to lockdown and postpone classes after receiving bomb threats.

According to CNN, at least 13 HBCU campuses reported receiving bomb threats in total. In most if not all cases, the lockdowns or stay-in-place orders have since been lifted — but the threats on Tuesday came after several weeks of similar threats against HBCUs across the country.

Jackson State University in Mississippi received a bomb threat early this morning, at 4:45 am. After a sweep of the campus found that the threat was unsubstantiated, university officials gave the all-clear announcement.

A bomb threat also prompted Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, to go into lockdown. The university later announced an all-clear status for the campus.

Students have said that the constant barrage of bomb threats, both on Tuesday and in weeks prior, have taken a toll on them.

“I do not feel safe attending in-person classes,” one student from Howard University said. “The handling of this situation is unsettling and does not create a safe environment for students or staff.”

Several prominent Black figures spoke out against the threats on social media.

“These institutions serve as safe havens for some of the most brilliant Black minds to grow & they should not be subjected to this violence,” said Martin Luther King III in a tweet on Monday, responding to the bomb threats that occurred before the start of this month.

“I’m praying for all the HBCU students and staff impacted by the bomb threats across the country,” wrote activist and congressional candidate Nina Turner. “We must nurture and protect the safe spaces where we celebrate Black excellence and joy.”

University faculty and officials also condemned the bomb threats.

“If the intent of these threats was to deny access to higher ed, it will fail,” wrote Jay Perman, chancellor of the University System of Maryland. “If it was to sow division, it will fail. If it was to terrorize students & communities of color, it will fail.”

Others recognized that the 13 threats made to HBCUs on a single day were deeply troubling.

“Not exactly how you want #Blackhistorymonth2022 to begin,” said Dr. Jason Johnson, a journalism professor at Morgan State University.