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White professor wins $750K racial discrimination suit against HBCU

Will donate money back to theatre department

A white former professor recently won a $750,000 racial discrimination lawsuit against a historically black university in St. Louis.

Harris-Stowe State University lost the lawsuit on Friday after a five-day trial, following a “hostile work environment” lawsuit from former theater professor Beverly Brennan.

“Brennan, who is white, alleged that she was discriminated against based on race and sex,” the Riverfront Times reported. “She also claimed she was retaliated against when she complained of her treatment.”

Brennan (pictured) taught at the school from 1993 to 2017, according to the local newspaper.

It reported:

Beverly Buck Brennan, who is the daughter of Jack Buck and sister of Joe Buck, taught speech and theater classes at the historically Black university from 1993 until 2017. She directed the Missouri state school’s speech and theater program, describing much of her time there as a dream job.

However, things changed starting around 2010 when Lateef Adelani became the dean of the College of Arts and Science and Dwayne Smith the provost for academic affairs. Both Adelani and Smith were named as defendants in the suit along with the school.

Brennan’s attorneys said school leaders would ask the professor’s colleagues if they were with “them,” meaning “white teachers,” or with “us.”

She will donate the money to the theatre department. “Despite the challenges she faced, Brennan has decided to donate the entirety of her award to the Harris-Stowe Theater Department, demonstrating her commitment to fostering a positive educational environment,” Fox 2 reported.

This is not the first time Harris-Stowe has lost a lawsuit from a white professor.

It also lost a $5 million lawsuit from Beverly Wilkins in 2017, after her regular instructor contract was not renewed. Wilkins had criticized a temporary education chair for her comments on “black power.”

That chair, Latisha Smith, later became the permanent chair and declined to renew Wilkins’ regular contract under the guise of budget cuts.

The school deleted Smith’s email account, despite being asked by the court to maintain it.

The university, despite claims of austerity measures, spent an extra $23,000 to hire two black professors to replace Wilkins’ load, The Fix previously reported.

MORE: White Penn State professor sues for race-based grading

IMAGE: Beverly Brennan/Facebook

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