Rutgers Can Do More for New Jersey’s African-American Population



by Walton R. Johnson

In January, 2019 Rutgers kicked off a year of celebrations to mark 100 years since the graduation of our famous alum, Paul Robeson. Yet, despite the hoopla, the university continues to neglect the needs of African-Americans in our state in a manner that is openly contemptuous of Robeson’s core ideas.

In the past generation, there has been a precipitous decline in enrollment of African-Americans. In 1979, there were 5,683 African-American students at Rutgers. That constituted 11.5 percent of the undergraduate student body and approximated the proportion of African-Americans (10.7 percent) in the New Jersey population. Although African-Americans constitute 14 percent of New Jersey’s population today, there are only 3,811 African-American…

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