HBCUs… Why They Are Still Needed…

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (most known by the acronym HBCUs) are about inclusion and love, unifying Black Americans as a people, so that we can be our best selves without the added stressors of racism bearing down on us when already existing marginalized, while attending an institution of higher education. HBCUs provide a nurturing environment where you’re surrounded not only by fellow students who look like you and who are all intellectuals, but the majority of the professors and administrators look like you too. It allows the focus to solely be on achieving your career goals, and even if only for a short period of time, you have a brief utopian existence. So what if it is not “the real world!” There’s something revitalizing and spiritual about not always having to constantly alter and suppress self to assimilate into the majority culture and/or be twice as smart to get the same acknowledgment or opportunities, if any at all. Black fraternities, sororities and other minority professional groups and societies, serve a similar purpose at these and majority institutions of higher learning. The mission is to have a higher sense of self when entering a world that is already divided, polarized along racial lines in a hierarchal structure having started long before you, a division that is generational and institutional, where those in power don’t look like you and are intent on keeping it that way. HBCUs help us to be equipped with history, culture, self love, a sense of community, pride, confidence and, last but not least, knowledge, giving us self empowerment; all of the tools needed to come together at the big table and fight for our place in the broader more polarized majority economic society… And HBCUs have it down to a fine science, producing most (>70%) of America’s black scholars with graduate and professional degrees, including attorneys, teachers, dentists, medical doctors and judges, even though they only make up 3% of Colleges and Universities, HBCUs are responsible for nearly 20% of all black graduates and 25% of black graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), who are highly successful, whereas majority schools are not as successful in recruitment and retention of black students, thought to be related to feelings of isolation, costs of tuition and racial biases faced by students… So as far as HBCUs, if it ain’t broke…

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