PWIs and HBCUs are the Real World
I’ve been thinking about this for almost a week. I’ve been going back and forth with thoughts regarding PWIs and HBCUs. I’ve heard and read some things about both type of institutions, and both have solid pros and cons. I also found comparing them to one another isn’t wise; penalizing an individual for going to one or the other is kinda dumb. Both types of institutions offer an atmosphere essential to a black individual: They both serve a purpose. A black student can gain a sense of strength and self-validation from both atmospheres. Believe it or not, A black student can gain black pride attending a PWI just like a black student at an HBCU can. I am a black student of a PWI and being surrounded by blonde blue-eyed people induced my self-awareness.
I know about the misconception of HBCUs being a fantasy land and not giving a black student the truth about the world. Sure, attending a campus occupied by a majority of people who look like you may not reflect the real America. I see that point. I see it, but it is not valid. I have never attended an HBCU and probably never will, however, I know what being around people who look like you feels like. It feels like strength; It feels like peace; It feels like belonging. Sitting back and watching black students fellowship is all the more inspiring. HBCUs, according to ignorance, do not reflect the real world. On the other hand, HBCUs will — can change the real world. I’m hoping HBCUs can rear black entrepreneurs, black artists, black musicians, black professional, and black athletes to be able to work together as a unit in a world that doesn’t reflect them. I give no disrespect to HBCUs. In fact, I strongly believe they are STILL needed in a country that is raising black kids who think “we should just get over it”. I believe HBCUs will rear black men and women who will be with each other, because they’ve spent 4 plus years around each other; rear black men who aren’t attracted to women of other races, because black women are too much or aren’t attractive enough; rear black women who feel they can trust black men. HBCUs can reflect the real world.
PWIs, on the other hand, definitely reflect America (SMH). PWIs constantly remind me that I am indeed a minority — THE minority. In a PWI, I have lost and gained my confidence, gained a new perspective, become self-aware, lost my mind every semester, hated white people, become sympathetic of white people, grown to love all things black, become a hustler and become acquainted with my grind, and become fearless and unashamed. Most importantly, fearless and unashamed. All of that in just 3 semesters. Attending a PWI for only 3 semesters has concocted within me audacity to never be intimidated by white people again; attending a PWI has convinced me that I am not inferior to anybody; attending a PWI has taught me that everything is wrong with the American system and nothing is wrong with my brain.
Comparing both type of institutions to each other is ridiculous, because they both offer the same results. They can offer strong black men and women with the capacity to change their world. Their own world. Because they can.