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Tyrone “I Stay Fly” Hankerson Ran Off On the Howard Scholarship Plug More Than Twice

Howard University
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By: Taryn Myers

Howard University can’t catch a break. Maybe they should put a picture of Black Jesus on the wall…it was the only thing that brought some good times to the Evans family.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Tyrone “I Stay Fly” Hankerson, king of the IG stunt gang, is currently being dragged up and down social media timelines because he allegedly embezzled nearly half a million dollars in scholarship funding, which literally and figuratively snatched food, shelter, and education out of the grasps of hundreds of marginalized students.

Mr. Hankerson was not alone; evidently, there were six other employees who were caught up in the scholarship fraud. However, Tyrone in his kitty cat t-shirts and strappy sandals posed in front of cotton candy pink cars in what presumably is Cuba makes the jokes too easy. The dude is walking down the street in what is clearly a professionally posed shot in a fur coat — i.e. some other student’s housing allowance. I guess he never heard the saying that real Gs move in silence?

Anyone attending the illustrious Howard University has probably noticed for some time that the aesthetic doesn’t really match the reputation, and it becomes even more glaring considering the rapid gentrification taking place in the Shaw neighborhood.  According to the Washington Post, in 2016, Howard University “celebrated the opening of its first new laboratory building in more than 30 years.”  That’s a long time between new infrastructure. And maybe that’s the average? I’m not sure.

What I do know for sure is Morgan State University, on the other side of the beltway, currently has three to four state-of-the-art buildings in different stages of production. Meanwhile, Howard had to condemn two or three buildings earlier this year and shut down whole sections of other buildings as a result of the damage of burst pipes. Since they aren’t building new facilities, how much money y’all think they are investing in renovating their old buildings? It also seems like Howard isn’t investing in accounting systems with checks and balances either. Where is all that endowment money going then?

Anyone attending the illustrious Howard University has probably noticed for some time that the aesthetic doesn’t really match the reputation Click To Tweet

Howard University, considered the Harvard of HBCUs (you see how even when we talk about something distinctly Black we have to situate it within the White gaze?), is also the richest HBCU with an endowment of supposedly upwards of $600 million.

While I have all the jokes for Mr. Hankerson and his fur coat (and I’m secretly seething because I don’t have access to travel funds to support my own research) when I really, really think about it, I just feel sad.

Side note — I’m also annoyed by this PWI versus HBCU argument that keeps resurfacing, and as someone who earned two degrees at a PWI, I need all the Blacks putting on for PWIs to stop acting like it was this great and amazing experience. Yes, you did get your financial aid on time with no problems, but then you had to sit in a classroom of White students who mostly didn’t respect you and assumed you were there through affirmative action, not because your intelligence earned your spot in the space. Who wants to fight that battle for four years?

Anyway, HBCUs serve a population of students who simply cannot afford to attend college. According to an article posted in the New Yorker, Howard’s president says, “We’ve got an incoming class with an average G.P.A. of 3.54 and 1210 SAT score…But, when they run the analyses, probably sixty percent of those kids can’t afford to be here.” Frankly, the only people who really care about educating all these smart, Black kids are at HBCUs, which by most accounts, are struggling across the board.

I think it’s time that we have a larger conversation about how we can better support our HBCUs. I can’t imagine a world without them, can you? Click To Tweet

So, while Tyrone and his yellow trench coat and sockless loafers were clearly living his best life in these D.C. streets with all the poor kids’ scholarship money, I think it’s time that we have a larger conversation about how we can better support our HBCUs. I can’t imagine a world without them, can you?

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Summer Walker & Social Anxiety

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Is T.I. Ok?

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For The Culture

Summer Walker Says We Don’t Deserve Her…And She’s Right

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Summer Walker’s recent Instagram post aims to remind us all to step away from the superficiality of social media and remember we’re only human.

In an age where people exploit “Love, Light, and Positivity” through discussions involving mental health and support, toxicity toward those affected has never seemed more prevalent. Conversations regarding self-care, emotional maturity, and navigating anxiety or depression seem to flood social media in ways that both normalize and trivialize the conditions. While the public perception of mental health is changing for the better, it seems our behavior does not match.

Social media has allowed us to become more accessible to one another but over time we forget there’s a living, breathing, feeling entity on the other end. We become crass, callous, and act without regard for another individual. In that ignorance, we forget that access to each other is a privilege and not a right. For someone like Summer Walker, who has reached their limit with public criticism, denying others access is no massive effort.

“Y’all Can Have The Music & Imma Just Head Out”

Summer Walker has always been candid about mental health. During her concerts, she often pauses to address her social anxiety while encouraging others to push toward their goals. Although she’s continuing to navigate the music industry and face her challenges head on, she recently made the decision that her first tour will be her last – partly due to social media criticism. Saying, “I’ve decided y’all don’t deserve me” Walker intends to distance herself from the public’s gaze upon the conclusion of her tour.

Following immense criticism for her Tiny Desk performance and hygiene practices, Summer penned a caption on Instagram in an effort to remind people she’s “just a regular person.” Believing people’s values are skewed, Summer said public expectations of her are too high and she has no desire to be in constant competition with the world. “Everyday/everything isn’t a Miss America bad b*tch contest and I don’t feel the need to put others down to stay relevant.” Adding that people are really disconnected, she said we’re hiding behind apps, filters, clothes, and other things that distract us from who we truly are. Imploring others to apply equal effort in enhancing their spiritual appearance along with their physical, Summer exposed the lack of self-acceptance and performative empathy that has affected so many.

Girls Need Love

It’s great to place so much emphasis on the importance of mental health care and showing up for your “strong friend”. But it isn’t truly being applied when your solidarity is so visible in theory but not in practice. People who experience social anxiety are not exempt from what causes it through the use of social media. For creatives, the irony of their work providing so much happiness while they often struggle with mental health issues is not lost. While Summer’s fans are hoping she does not refrain from producing music in the future, she’s made it pretty clear she has no obligation to shrink her emotional boundaries to please anyone besides herself.

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