The Revelance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Some may question the relevance and influence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2017. HBCUs are often regarded as being counterproductive financially, philosophically, and pedagogically.
However, these institutions have a united mission of providing educational opportunities for persons of color and those who may otherwise be disenfranchised.
HBCUs were founded during a time in which African-Americans were not allowed to attend Predominately White Institutions, to be educated. HBCUs institutions are safe havens for the disadvantaged, meeting students where they are and providing them with the necessary educational training to not only succeed but also help graduates gain employment opportunities, after graduating.
Collectively, HBCUs help to forge relationships with the communities in which they serve. Since their inception, these institutions have ushered in a new era of education, excellence, and influence.
Their relevance today helps shape the overall stability and upward mobility of persons of color in this country. Institutions like Tougaloo College, Howard University, Fisk University, Spelman and Morehouse College will continue to provide students with the educational fortitude needed to become strong leaders not only in the black community but globally as well.
As HBCUs continue to be under much scrutiny from the outside community, they constantly outperform their peers. Although these institutions only represent three percent of all U.S. Colleges, they produce 20 percent of African-Americans with bachelor’s degrees and 24 percent of all black scientist and engineers.
Alumni and supporters of HBCUs must continue to be champions for these institutions. Also, they must work to preserve the rich legacy, while working to build a brighter future.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”