April 26, 2021
Learotha Williams Jr., a professor at Tennessee State University, witnessed how badly his institution needed funding when the campus was struck by lightning two years ago. The lightning damaged underground wires when it hit a central circuit in the campus’s aged electrical system. Disruptive power outages followed for weeks at the historically Black land-grant university. “Our infrastructure shouldn’t have been to a point where a lightning strike can shut down the school, not in the 21st century,” said Williams, an associate professor of African American and public history.