Tenn. University President Hosted Dinner for African-American Students Featuring Cotton-Stalk Centerpieces and ‘Black Meals’

Randy Lowry (Tennessean screenshot)
Randy Lowry (Tennessean screenshot)

One would assume that in order to be the president of an institute of higher education, the bare-minimum requirement would be some level of common sense (and diversity training). But alas, it seems as if that wasn’t the case at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., where the president has come under fire for hosting a dinner for African-American students that featured cotton-stalk centerpieces and “black meals.”


According to The Tennessean, the display put on by Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry has been slammed as offensive by students. To make matters even worse, in my opinion, this dinner was all about meeting and greeting students to chat more about their experiences at the majority-white school.

Some of those students who attended, of course, were not impressed by the display. One student posted a picture to Instagram showing the centerpieces, adding in her caption that the dishes served included macaroni and cheese, collard greens and corn bread, food that is often stereotypically seen as “black.”


Lowry followed up by sending out an email to the Lipscomb community, apologizing for the incident and acknowledging that he could have “handled the situation with more sensitivity.”

Read more at The Tennessean.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi

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This is a great example of how racism does not have to come from a place of hatred. Sometimes racism comes from a place of ignorance.

This guy, I am sure, would say “I am not racist! I do not hate anyone!”.

But your attitudes, as benign as you think they are, are racist.

Your heart was in a good place, sir. But you should be asking yourself some questions.