Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Virginia Tech

April 19th, 2007 by Ajuan Mance

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again. — Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor

The tragic deaths this week at Virginia Tech have stirred grief in the hearts and minds of all who are aware of this horrible chain of events.

I dedicate this post to the memory of those members of the Virginia Tech community who lost their lives on Monday, April 16, 2007:

  • Ross Abdallah Alameddine
  • Brian Roy Bluhm
  • Ryan Christopher Clark
  • Austin Michelle Cloyd
  • Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
  • Caitlin Millar Hammaren
  • Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
  • Emily Jane Hilscher
  • Jarrett Lee Lane
  • Matthew Joseph La Porte
  • Henry J. Lee
  • Liviu Librescu
  • Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
  • Lauren Ashley McCain
  • Daniel Patrick O’Neil
  • Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz
  • Minal Hiralal Panchal
  • Daniel Alejandro Perez
  • Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
  • Julia Kathleen Pryde
  • Mary Karen Read
  • Reema Joseph Samaha
  • Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
  • …and any whose names have not yet been released, pending identification and the notification of their next of kin.

    We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.  

    — Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor 

    Across this nation and beyond, tens of millions mourn the loss of life and the accompanying loss of innocence, the tragic intervention of murderous violence into the space of the college campus, that setting which has functioned symbolically and practically as that last cherished moment in space and time for young men and women to explore, create, grow, learn, dream, and entertain their most ambitious and utopian aspirations.

    The Virginia Tech homepage has been reconfigured as a hub for those seeting information on Monday’s devastating events. You can find the Virginia Tech homepage at this address: 

    To make a donation in memory of those who lost their lives on Monday, click on this link and follow the instructions provided (other websites soliciting donations may be fraudulent):

    To read the transcript of the stirring and inspiring convocation address by University Distinguished Professor Nikki Giovanni, click this link:

    Posted by Ajuan Mance

    Posted in Current Events, Higher Education, My Favorite Blogs, Nikki Giovanni, Virginia Tech

    3 Responses

    1. jk

      NBC created this monster and they are trying to create another one by playing his propaganda video over and over. All the victims’ families should join together in a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against NBC for wrongful death. You don’t believe it? Well, why did he sent his garbage to NBC? He knew that his propaganda would be shown by them because all he was really doing was mimicking their propaganda anyway. The Left says all us crackers deserve to die for what some moronic morons who lived 200 years ago did, and this guy just took that stupidity to it’s illogical conclusion. NBC is Cho’s father and ABC is his mother, and they are proud of their bastard child. Just turn on the TV and you can see their pride and joy.

    2. twilightandreason

      I am not sure it is productive to blame Monday’s tragic events on network television, nor am I sure what you are attempting to convey when you use epithets like “cracker.” I am also curious about your suggestion that the left somehow advocates genocidal action against white people. Given than most people on the left are white, and given that there is an awful lot of racism on the left as well as the right, I question your assertions on this topic. In addition, it seems that you are suggesting that the killings on Monday constitute an anti-white attack. Among the victims, however, were people of many ethnicities and nationalities.

      I do understand your rage and frustration at the perpetrator of this horrible massacre and at the media for its seemingly exploitative coverage of this tragic set of events.

    3. Nikki Lover

      ALI G’S ENTIRE INTERVIEW WITH NIKKI G (this interview, like both Nikki G, wannabe poet, and Tupac, rap star, small-time criminal, and wannabe gansta, is a big pretense, although this particular pretense poses no danger)

      ALI G -Booyakasha, chek i’ out. I is here wif my main man, Nikki G, my bro from Staines. How is you become poet? NIKKI G- We’re communicators, it’s in our blood. ALI G: Blood, West Side. Now sis, you, I mean, sorry you is my bro now, you is get some edumacation. You went to America, right? NIKKI G: I went to Fisk. ALI G: Tell me about how you is expelled for crack… NIKKI G: It wasn’t for smoking crack. I started at Fisk in 1960, was soon expelled, and later returned and graduated in 1968. I did enroll and quickly drop out of two graduate schools after that but I did complete that one degree, my bachelor’s degree. ALI G: Wha’eve. You is still my main man. Now you has Tupac Shukar tattoo, right? Can I see that? NIKKI G: Yes, I have said I would rather be with the street thugs than with the ones who complain about them. ALI G: Now is you believe Tupac’s criminal record make him a better rap artist? NIKKI G: Well, I don’t know about that, but… ALI G: I like that poem you wrote about nigger can you kill, can you stab a jew, can you draw blood, can you kill a honkie. Ain’t that a rap! NIKKI G: You’re talking about my poem “The True Import Of Present Dialogue, Black vs. Negro.” I wrote that a long time ago. ALI G: But can’t you make a rap out of that? You is get the whole crowd to stand up at Virginia Tech with that one. NIKKI G: No, that was my new poem We Are Virginia Tech. ALI G: Wha’eve. That was my one an’ only main man, Nikki G, my big bro and big time poet, big shout out for Nikki G from VT.