HBCU’S Impact


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The importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities has grown throughout the years.

Madison Freeman, ENN Staff

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCU’s, have always played a large role in the Black community. From providing Black students an education before other colleges and universities, to giving back to the communities that surround them. As racial tensions in America have risen, so have  the number of applicants and enrollments to HBCU’s. As the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movements have gotten more attention, many students have become aware of the sense of community that they would likely be able to receive at an HBCU. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, Vice President Kamala Harris, and the late Chadwick Boseman have also brought attention to HBCU’s by donating and posting about the HBCU’s that they attended or, in Beyoncé’s case, dedicating a whole Coachella performance to the iconic bands and majorettes that are a major staple for HBCU’s.

While HBCU’s are known for a number of reasons, their bands and other aspects of their halftime show as well as the sense of community they provide for Black students have brought them to the forefront of pop culture for decades from the show ‘It’s a Different World’ to Beyoncé’s record breaking homecoming performance. As seniors take the next steps into choosing the college they want to go to, some students such as, senior Aryca Rae Williams, who plans to attend Texas Southern University  have found the HBCU that was the right fit for them.

“I wanted to go to HBCU because I like being around Black people and I just love the culture and being able to express myself. I’m going to Texas Southern University to get a good education, participate in fun activities and be able to make new friends. HBCU’s are different from PWI’s at my HBCU. I will get to have fun. And experience good pep rallies and homecoming because HBCUs are very known for their good homecomings,” Williams said.

As HBCU’s popularity has skyrocketed they have also become more respectable when it comes to sports with major talents such as Dion Sanders, number one recruit Travis Hunter, and elite recruit Kevin Coleman all choosing to further their athletic career at Jackson State University many other talented athletes have done the same. Senior, Makenzie Washington, has also decided to further her academic and athletic career at Jackson State University an HBCU in Mississippi.

“I decided to further my education at Jackson State because I wanted to learn more about like the black culture and everything. Even though we learned a little bit in school, I really want that family type feeling, especially being away from home. And I felt like they really gave me that feeling. Plus, my teammates are awesome, and the staff is awesome. And it’s really close to my family. At an HBCU you get more of that family feel and like everyone really just wants you to succeed it’s not about being better than someone else. Like they all want you to be at your greatest point. I’m really looking forward to experiencing life on campus and just getting to know new people and stuff like that. I feel like at PWI’s, everyone’s kind of closed off and kind of to themselves when you go to HBCU once again, it’s like that family feel like everyone’s gonna talk to you like, you may just come up to a random person be like, hey, and you don’t even know them. So they’re gonna always welcome you,” Washington said.

While HBCU’s are gaining popularity there has been controversy surrounding the colleges and universities with some feeling as though they should not be taken as seriously as PWI’s. Math teacher, Dionnica Wilson, feels as though HBCUs often get a bad wrap.

“I think some of them get the title of being like party schools, and not necessarily for the focus of getting an education more so having fun. However due to the amount of attention HBCUs have been getting due to the celebrity attention now you have athletes like Deion Sanders, and then you have the whole deal with sports related with Master P and his son bringing more exposure and more awareness to how they can be on the same playing field as you know, a predominantly white school institution,” said Wilson.

HBCU’S can be extremely important to coming of age Black students to connect with their culture as well as gaining an education to prepare them for their future career. Some, such as senior Skylar Parker, feel as though African Americans will receive a better education at HBCU’S since they will be taken more seriously.

“The important thing is you will probably get a better education rather than at other colleges and  you’ll get a way better college experience. There’s also a very big cultural difference, Other colleges are just bland in comparison. In my opinion it’s just school and boring parties but when you go to an HBCU you have all these cultural events, and all the pep rallies and gatherings, functions and stuff it’s just spiced up,”said Parker.

All in all, HBCU’s have gained popularity and have become a viable option for Black students who are choosing where to go to college thanks to a variety of factors.