BUFFALO, N.Y. – “White Only” and “Black Only” signs that appeared around University of Buffalo’s campus are apparently all part of one student’s art project.
The signs went up Wednesday near bathrooms on campus.
According to the student newspaper UB Spectrum, the university police got 11 calls about the signs, and removed several of them.
“It brought up feelings of the past of a past that our generation has never seen … ,” Micah Oliver, the President for the Black Student Union, told WIVB. “There was fear expressed, anger, disappointment – all of that.”
The Black Student Union had an open session Wednesday night to discuss the signs, and more than 100 students showed up, according to WIVB.
According to the Spectrum, Ashley Powell, a graduate student, took responsibility for the posters at the meeting.
In a statement to the Spectrum, Powell said, “I apologize if you were hurt, but I do not apologize for what I did. Once again, this is my art practice. My work directly involves black trauma and non-white suffering. I do not believe that there can be social healing without first coming to terms with and expressing our own pain, rage, and trauma.”
According to the newspaper, Powell posted the signs for a project in her “Installation in Urban Spaces” class.
“As an artist, I respect you as an artist,” Jefry Taveras, a student, told the Spectrum. “But you should know racism isn’t art, it’s a reality and traumatizing.”