National Institute on Aging

A Black Alumnus Is Suing Utah State University Over Racial Incident

A Black graduate of the marriage and family therapy program at Utah State University has filed a lawsuit against the university claiming that he was not supported by the university after reporting that a professor mistakenly displayed a caricature of him on a screen in front of a classroom.

The student said the drawing resembled a “coon caricature” reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. He was the only Black student in the program, so it was apparent to the Black student and his classmates who was depicted in the drawing.

The student brought his concerns to the school’s equity office, which recommended placing a warning letter in the professor’s file. That suggestion was dismissed by a higher-up administrator at the school, according to a report in the Salt Lake City Tribune.


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