BET has a new drama series called “The Quad”. Unfortunately, the show is not a must see for everyone. “The Quad” is a fictional show about the HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) life and culture.
The keyword here is FICTIONAL. The show depicts a fictional campus and fictional story lines. Well, it seems all this fiction has rubbed the President of Hampton University the wrong way. William R. Harvey, Hampton University President, feels some type of way about how HBCU campus life and culture are being depicted on the show.
In fact, Harvey felt so salty that he decided to write a letter to Debra Lee, BET President. The letter was three pages long and explained how he felt “The Quad” was misrepresenting HBCUs.
“Devoid of any reference to academics, The Quad is about a president who is promiscuous, trustees who are unwilling to deal with a rogue band director, and a band director who condones criminal activity on the part of his drum major. The Quad will lead many to believe that HBCUs exist because of their marching bands; that our presidents are unethical; that our boards are dysfunctional and have misplaced priorities; that our faculty, students and administrators are driven by sex, alcohol, marijuana, low self-esteem, parties and a preoccupation with music; that it is acceptable to disrespect women; that university policy can be set by a band director; and that there are no standards of conduct or penalties for bad behavior. This depiction seems more analogous to a disgruntled, adolescent and unrealistic point of view that some may have. It also feeds a false narrative about the irrelevance of HBCUs.
We cannot afford this kind of storytelling. It amounts to the type of ‘fake news’ that is prevalent today. You see, all that most people know about HBCUs is what they see on television. What I saw on BET February 1st was not accurate; rather, it was a bogus representation of very important and historic institutions.”
So, what are your thoughts? Do you think a fictional show should have the responsibility to represent HBCUs truthfully? Let me know in the comments.
By Ronda Brooks