These are five of the most popular misconceptions about Historically Black Colleges and Universities that ought to be discarded.
The importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities has been downsized in our society. These colleges and universities play a critical role in the American system of higher education. During the rise of our nation, African-Americans looking to get a college education could only get it from an HBCU. HBCUs historically have provided affordable education to millions of students of color, the majority of America’s African-American teachers, doctors, judges, engineers, and other professionals in the spheres of science and technology graduated from there. However, a lot of people with little or no knowledge about HBCUs claim that these institutions are racist or offer poor quality education, though it isn’t remotely true. We have got more information on the major misconceptions concerning these institutions from a trustworthy source below:
The Huffington Post
The argument that we no longer need historically black colleges and universities is beyond tired and played out.
For decades, those with little-to-no knowledge about these institutions have received misinformation thanks to stereotypes. It’s been said that colleges like Hampton University, Spelman College and North Carolina A&T promote racism (no), provide an inadequate education (still no), aren’t diverse (nope) and other fallacies for years.
The only way to correct misinformation is with receipts. With the help of Howard University professor and historian Edna Medford, we’re here to clear up some of the most egregious misconceptions. Grab a pen and take notes because class is in session.
— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) November 1, 2016
1. HBCUs are racist.
To call the existence of HBCUs racist is to ignore the foundation on which they were built. Black people have long faced barriers to acquiring an education. Medford explained that HBCUs were therefore built to combat racist laws that disenfranchised black students.
“I think what we need to remember is that HBCUs were there for people of color when we were not wanted in predominantly white institutions. When we were denied access to those institutions, HBCUs were here for use,” Medford told The Huffington Post. “So education means so much to us and higher education becomes significant because we understand that we’re not going to be able to enter the mainstream society unless we can compete on that level.”
Medford also pointed out that just because these schools are predominantly black doesn’t mean they promote segregation. These institutions have never in their nearly 180 years of existence said that only black people are allowed to attend black colleges, she said.
2. HBCUs offer an inadequate education.
The abundance of black excellence at Historically Black Colleges and Universities isn’t by coincidence. For the first time in many of these students’ lives, they see a reflection of themselves in textbooks that goes beyond just civil rights. To mistake a curriculum that focuses on black history and culture as inadequate is a notion rooted in white supremacy.
“It doesn’t mean that we ignore the larger education, it’s just that we make a point of incorporating ourselves as well,” Medford said.
— Defender Network (@defendernetwork) November 1, 2016
3. HBCUs don’t prepare you for post-grad life.
A 2015 Gallup-USA Funds Minority College Graduates Report found that black HBCU graduates are more likely to say they felt prepared for life after college than black graduates at non-HBCUs. The report also found that HBCU graduates are also most likely to have strong relationships, enjoy what they do each day for work, and they are more goal-oriented.
HBCU graduates are also making major nationwide and global contributions. These schools are producing more black people who earn their doctorate degrees in STEM than non-HBCUs, according to the American Institutes for Research. HBCU graduates also dominate other fields like art and entertainment (Phylicia Rashad), politics (Rev. Jesse Jackson) and more (Oprah Winfrey).
4. HBCUs aren’t diverse.
In recent years, HBCUs have seen an increase of non-black students. Students come from all over the world to attend some of these schools.
Howard University in Washington, D.C. is among the most diverse black colleges, with students from nearly each state and more than 70 countries around the world. Some international students at schools like Howard come from the diaspora while others are from countries like Russia, Nepal, China, Saudi Arabia and other non-African countries.
5. HBCUs are irrelevant.
More than 100 HBCUs are vital and still serving their purpose in creating a necessary and safe space in which black intellectuals can talk freely about the issues they care about.
Medford said that Historically Black Colleges and Universities help teach black people who we are, especially in a world that constantly tells us otherwise.
“It’s not just about teaching our children the relevance of those institutions, but it’s using those institutions to teach our children that they are relevant that their lives have meaning that they have a history, that they have a culture they can be proud of.” See more
The situation with Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America closely resembles the situation with Black people in general – they are underestimated, mistreated and misunderstood. But still, students there have got a stronger sense of well-being in many spheres (social, financial, purpose, physical and community) thus they gain self-confidence and the ability to transfer this feeling and their skills across generations. So in order to discard the well-spread misconceptions, HBCUs institutions have to come out of the shadow to get the appreciation they surely deserve and also prove that there is hope for young Black people looking for good education.