Turning Tassels at Karamu

Turning Tassels at Karamu

Warmer weather means it is almost time for graduation and many special ceremonies are taking place to honor the accomplishments of those getting ready to turn their tassels. Reporter Jasmin Sparkman has more on a special ceremony for students of color.


Karamu Ya Wahitimu is more than just a new phrase for your vocabulary.

Karamu is a special pre-commencement ceremony and celebration for students of color who fall into the AALANAS category, or the African American, Latin American and Native American Category. The ceremony honors not only the success of each student, but pays tribute to their defining culture as well.

As the soon to be graduates walked across the stage in Cartwright hall Sunday night, they received special decorations called cultural cloths.

Each cloth represents a different culture. The African Kente cloth represents African American culture, the Mexican Serape for Latino culture, and the native cloth and feather representative of Native American culture.

Ramos went on to say that this year’s Karamu ceremony was the biggest yet with over 140 graduates in attendance. Not to be forgotten, however, are the many friends and family who came out to support.

Receiving the African Kente cloth Sunday night was Krandall Brantley, a graduating senior who’s made a name for himself in the National Association of Black Journalists at Kent and working with TV2. Brantley made sure not to forget the most important piece of the puzzle: his mom.

“I told her I love her and said thank you for all your help these past years,” Brantley said. “She went through a lot and supported me and gave me the encouragement to keep going.”

The evening ended with snacks, cake, and excited family and friends. With hugs all around, graduates said the left the ceremony proud and elated.

Follow @SparkmanJasmin for more stories covering the diverse world at Kent State University.


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