Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Folklore

I tried my best to find a way to explore Southern Hospitality further as my research topic, but I could not find a way to make this topic not too broad. When I used the search engine Google to uncover the definition of Southern Hospitality, I was directed to Wikipedia, blog sites, and restaurant sites. Wikipedia references books or articles that speak to the “imaginary” of the South — a word discussed in one of last week’s reading assignments, “American Cinema And The Southern Imaginary.” Because of my “imaginary,” I feel that I may wonder into broad topic territory with no true direction. For this reason, I will move onto a different topic: different but just as intriguing — I believe.

A few semesters ago, I took an African American Women in Literature course and fell in love with the topic, Folklore. Folklore encompasses tradition passed down from one generation to the next: music, cultural behaviors, oral or written stories with some sort of moral undertone, and religious beliefs — to name a few. What I will do is place Atlanta area Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) within the context of Folklore and explore their college curriculums, fraternities and sororities, musical bands, etc. I will not stop with these things but will try to figure out if HBCU programs function today as they did years ago (for Black betterment). If these different programs within the HBCU have made life better for Blacks, and if there are palpable benefits in attending HBCUs in the South over Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), I want to know how and what they are, respectively.

This weeks reading assignment, “Race Atlanta Cotton States Exposition of 1895” spoke about Black professionals and scholars from HBCUs who helped bring the Exposition alive for Blacks. Some of the Black colleges that these individuals attended are right here in Atlanta, Ga. I want to know if these colleges are producing the same caliber leaders today.