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UW-Madison’s Brooks speaks with Journal Sentinel about #BlackandHooded

May 25, 2018

Kyree Brooks, a special education master’s degree student with the School of Education, is featured in a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that’s headlined, “Wisconsin alums use #BlackandHooded to recognize African-Americans earning advanced degrees.”

Kyree Brooks
The School of Education's Kyree Brooks​.
The article explains how, using social media, two UW-Madison alums have created a movement among African-American students in higher education that has two goals: one academic, the other political.

The report explains: “Anthony Wright and Brian Allen, who were best friends as undergrads, launched the hashtag #BlackandHooded to show that black master's and doctoral students not only exist, but graduate. At the time, they were celebrating finishing their master's degrees from Indiana University and Columbia University, respectively. The hashtag literally refers to university hooding ceremonies for graduate students, when a student's mortarboard is replaced with a hood to symbolize passage from student to ‘master.’ The hashtag also indirectly alludes to Trayvon Martin, the black teenager wearing a hooded sweatshirt who was shot to death in a gated Florida community by a neighborhood watch volunteer. After Martin's death in 2012, much attention was placed on hoodies and whether they lead to confrontations.

"Males I grew up with had no intention of getting a master's degree," Brooks, a graduate of Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, who was also featured in the report, tells the Journal Sentinel. "It's important to see people like yourself and others in educational spaces. It's about planting the seed, believing you can be there, too."

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