Malachi Byrd

Class of 2020

Malachi Byrd (2019) came to Princeton University, a young D.C. boy full of theories. Through the juxtaposition of his suburban and urban experiences in the DMV area, Malachi discovered his passion laid in discovering and attacking institutionalized racism in all of the overt and covert ways that they perpetuate. Whether in educational opportunities, healthy food access, or police brutality, he is committed to the battle against anti-Blackness. When Malachi originally arrived at Princeton, the African-American Studies Department was not, yet, a department. Immediately realizing that the institution that he attended demanded loud and thorough resistance in order to evolve, Malachi immersed himself with a few other passionate students to build the Black Justice League, which would go on to unashamedly push the university towards a more intentional investment in a more inclusive, and accommodating culture for its underserved students. A long-time rapper and spoken word artist, MalPractice, has always believed in the intersection of art and activism. From the mix of his African-American studies degree and Creative Writing certificate to being selected as Washington D.C.’s inaugural youth poet laureate (2015) to publishing his dually named book and mixtape, Crowning Too Early (2017), he displays in his artwork where his research interests lie: fully interrogating the evaporation of Black childhood. Malachi can’t even pinpoint a particular profession that he is aiming for – other than becoming the first Senator of Washington, D.C. (Vote Byrd 2032) – but he knows to whom and where he wants to dedicate his life to uplifting.