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Alabama civil rights leaders respond to the latest bomb threat to HBCUs

(WHNT) — Fisk University in Nashville Tennessee cancelled classes on Monday after yet another bomb threat to an historically Black college or university. It’s the 20th such threat in the past two months. 

These disturbing threats of violence have shaken the Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) community and Alabama civil rights leaders are speaking out.  

“Unfortunately, this is part of a long legacy,” said April England-Albright, a civil litigation attorney based in Atlanta.  

Since the first day of Black History Month, these threats are still happening. Civil rights activists and community leaders held a virtual discussion to ease fears and to map out a plan to make their voices heard before history repeats itself before it’s too late. 

“Seeing these re-emerging kinds of tactics are extremely concerning,” said Dejuana Thompson, President of the Birmingham Civil Rights Society.  

Monday was also the fourth time that Howard University in Washington D. C. was threatened in the past two months. Black civil rights leaders in Alabama say these acts reminds us that the bomb threats against Black learning institutions and houses of worship are deeply rooted in American history and should not be taken lightly. 

“When we think that they are a one-off moment or that they are not rooted in some systemic practice and theory, that is when I feel the most uncovered. It’s when I feel the most concerned for alarm,” said Thompson.  

Leaders believe that because of history, now is the time to ramp up the laws for these criminal acts of discrimination.  

“Historically this is the correct moment to right the wrong because it’s not a quota, it’s something that should have already happened,” said Albright.  

Thompson believes that these threats to American institutions should be a moment to revisit how Black history is taught is schools. 

“We can’t just operate as if these things didn’t happen or that they are not happening now or it just happened one time and it’s not going to happen again,” Thompson concluded. “Because history has shown that there is a pattern to terrorism and there is a pattern to hate crimes.” 

A “shelter-in-place” order was issued Monday morning for students, faculty and staff at Fisk University in Nashville. Although there were no bomb materials found, the threat has shaken the HBCU community.  

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