New Haven, CT — Lolade Siyonbola, a Yale student who was questioned by police for ‘sleeping while Black’ in her dorm, has recently earned her master’s degree in African studies with a discipline area of sociology. She is set to continue her doctoral studies at Cambridge University in the UK.
Last year, Siyonbola was writing a term paper in their dorm’s common area when she fell asleep. She was startled when she was woken up by campus police which was called by her white dorm-mate, Sarah Braasch, to report her.“I was livid, I was livid. As disappointed as I was, as irritated as I was, I wasn’t shocked,” she told WTNH News 8 during a recent interview. “I was just, like, the nerve. It was just, like, classic, textbook profiling. Disrupting my time, disrupting my freedom to exist because you are programmed think that all Black people are dangerous.”
Siyonbola filmed the 15-minuted interaction with the police that ended only after they saw her student ID. She posted the video on social media and it immediately went viral, with people creating the hashtag “sleeping while Black.”
Despite the stress that the incident caused her, she continued her studies at Yale. She recently graduated with a master’s degree in African Studies with a focus on Sociology. She also received a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom where she decided to pursue her Ph.D. in sociology.
“I came here to get what’s mine. I came here to get what belongs to me and what I’m entitled to, and what I need to fulfill my purpose in the world.”