Classical Education and Equality

In Washington, D.C., battles over education are not only common but expected. But, on the north side of town, a passionate battle to preserve the classics is taking place at Howard University, beyond the political landscape surrounding its campus. Dr. Anika T. Prather is an adjunct professor in Howard University’s classics department. After opening her own classically inspired school, Prather learned of the push to close the university’s department. In reply, Prather submitted a research-based and heartfelt editorial to USA Today:

“My dissertation focused on the history of classical study in the Black community and took a look at how Black students respond to studying the works of the canon. In both cases, I found that studying classics — the study of ancient Greece and Rome — did not always cause Black people to deny their heritage or to seek to assimilate, but instead it gave them the words and language to fight for equality. It also incited a desire to fight for freedom from an oppressive society.”


“The classical works of the canon are for all of us, for they all tell the human story and connect us all. My hope is that Howard University will keep them alive so all of us, especially future generations of Black students, can know the truth about the human story.”

To read the article in its entirety, visit here.

You can also learn more about Prather’s career and work here.