HBCUs were the only option for people of color back in the day; however, today African Americans have a wide variety of schools to choose from. In recent news Alabama State University, Howard University, Tuskegee University, and Grambling State University have all been in the media about the mishaps and misunderstanding of current events and actions of administration. Although we all know that no university is perfect, HBCUs typically get their issues magnified for various reasons. How often do you see big universities (that will remain nameless) constantly degraded among via word of mouth, the news, or local newspapers? In addition the lack of an informed student body that makes assertions to the media about their HBCUs only aid the media in their agenda to slowly make a case of why HBCUs serve no purpose (the purpose of HBCUs are to have a place for disadvantaged students to be understood and seen as priority).
Due to the misconception of HBCUs and how they supposedly do not offer a quality education or as many opportunities of advancement into professional sport leagues and career fields, highly skilled black athletes and black scholars do not attend HBCUs to further their education (Imagine if the top athletes attended HBCUs…amazing right?). According to Michelle Obama during a commencement speech this past spring at Bowie State University, “If the school in your neighborhood isn’t any good, don’t just accept it. Get in there fix it, talk to the parents, talk to the teachers, get business and community leaders involved as well, because we all have a stake in building schools worthy of our children’s promise.” Although I do not believe that my school or any other HBCU isn’t any good; however, I do believe that we can conduct our business better to produce even more well educated students.Our first lady makes a great point of becoming proactive in order to improve our schools. We also have to choose to view the good that our HBCUs are doing and not be so focused on the bad that is constantly brought to the forefront. I also believe in the hiring of a faculty that wholeheartedly love their HBCU and is willing to put in the work to educate their students (No more half-stepping and cutting corners!).
Growing up in a variety of schools (magnet and regular schools) and environments, I have been able to gain a knowledgeable well rounded understanding of why someone would think that HBCUs are no good; nevertheless, knowing that HBCUs are perceived differently among people based on their own encounters and environments. I remember scrolling down my Twitter feed to find that one of my followers had posted, “People at HBCUs don’t understand what we go through” implying that their work load was much heavier or more difficult than a HBCUs’. From my understanding, students at HBCUs work just as hard to earn their grades. Although both opinions are based on experience, it baffled me to see that someone was bold enough to post that and mean it.
HBCUs are a great place to grow and be taught; however, many have yet to be convinced that they are. Alabama State, Howard, Tuskegee, and Grambling are all great schools and worthy to be considered first. They may all need a little TLC but who doesn’t?
Some of the greatness that has come from HBCUs…