Photo controversy highlights black women in Long Gray Line

A group of black female cadets at the U.S. Military Academy won’t face punishment for a controversial photo taken weeks before their graduation.

But the incident has raised questions about the perceptions of black women showing pride — and the challenges of an underrepresented group at an elite institution.

Some see the gesture of raised fists from the women wearing traditional dress uniforms as a signal of pride. Others wonder whether the cadets were expressing support for Black Lives Matter.

Some female graduates say West Point’s emphasis on leadership and mission means black womanhood is a choice that comes with consequences.

Fewer than 400 black women have graduated from West Point in its 114-year history. This year’s class includes fewer than 20.

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