White College President Participates In #DuragDay – Fair or Foul?

by Krystal Franklin

November 7, 2017

Photos by @StayBryght and @tvleek

To kick off their Homecoming week, many of the University of North Texas‘ black student body participated in Durag Day — and  yes it’s as ridiculous simple as it sounds. The premise? Wear  your favorite durag or bonnet around campus.

We’re not entirely sure what the point was, other than to “come together” as a culture on a campus that’s primary white, but even I, as 30-something black woman rolled my eyes at the thought of us walking around with bonnets and durags on for fun. Especially when the President of the University, Neal Smatresk, decided to participate.


According to The Culture Supplier, “in 2011 the Black Student Experience (BSE) was launched to introduce the University of North Texas to the campus to increase the success of Black students on campus.” Okay. And is Durag Day’s point to aid in the success of black students on campus? That’s a serious question, no sarcasm intended.

It didn’t take long for social media to get wind of the hashtag and while most were favorable, there were a few that wondered if the president’s participation was too far.

In full disclosure. Durag Day is nothing new. HBCUs first started the tradition to celebrate black culture and the rich history behind the iconic head garment. But one must ask if the lines are now blurred when other races participate. Especially when the trend has found its way to PWIs like University of Texas and now UNT.

TELL US: Offensive? Racist? Or just plain fun?

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