Class Of COVID-19: HBCU Students Embrace Therapy Amid Pandemic, Racial Injustice
Students at historically Black colleges and universities in Florida are finding different ways to cope with illness, grief, family obligations and uncertainty. For the multiethnic Black community, COVID-19 has been an added stressor atop another centuries-long pandemic: racial injustice.
MIAMI GARDENS — As the student-body president at Florida A&M University, Xavier McClinton deeply missed the unique culture and traditions — bright homecoming festivities with lively bands, hyped football games, senior year celebrations — that were sidelined by the pandemic.
"Trying to internalize things never works, and it never helps,” McClinton said. When he felt anxious as the pandemic worsened, McClinton often called his dad or close friends to vent.
And then the summer’s racial justice protests “put fuel on the fire.”
"I’ve even gone to a counseling session or two to find a way to verbalize some of the things that I’m feeling and expressing,” McClinton said. “It’s good to know that I’m not alone in that aspect.”
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This story is part of the Florida Public Media series, "Class of COVID-19: An Education Crisis For Florida's Vulnerable Students." Find the whole project — and sign up for our limited-run newsletter — at classofcovid.org.
“Class of COVID-19” is being produced through a partnership with the following public media organizations: WLRN (Miami), WGCU (Fort Myers), WFSU (Tallahassee), WUSF (Tampa), WMFE (Orlando) , WUCF (Orlando), WPBT/WXEL (Miami/Boynton Beach), WJCT (Jacksonville), WEDU (Tampa) and WUWF (Pensacola).
The project is supported in part by the Hammer Family Charitable Foundation and the Education Writers Association.