After 196 years, a Louisiana College has granted tenure to a Black professor

Louisiana’s oldest college is celebrating its first lifetime appointment to a Black faculty member and discussing why this racial milestone took nearly two centuries to accomplish.

“I think that’s the million-dollar question. It’s something I know will be highlighted and discussed” at Centenary College of Louisiana’s event Thursday honoring the now-tenured associate professor Andia Augustin-Billy, college spokeswoman Kate Pedrotty said.

Racism is why this took 196 years, said school archivist Chris Brown. “Structural and institutional and systemic racism has been present ever since the college was founded, largely by enslavers,” he said.

This history is undeniable, but it’s also in the past, said Christopher Holoman, president of the Methodist-affiliated college in Shreveport.

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