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Living the HBCU Legacy essay Posted on 07-31-2008

Since the early 1800’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have contributed a great deal of assistance and guidance to all African Americans. From the beginning, these colleges have offered higher learning opportunities and from them have derived some of America’s smartest and most accomplished African Americans. A few notable examples include: Oprah Winfrey, Tennessee State University; Martin Luther King Jr., Morehouse College; Thurgood Marshall, Lincoln University; and Jessie Jackson, North Carolina A&T. Over time, HBCU’s have represented a major shift in American history. There was once a time when blacks could receive no education which made the African American race inferior to whites. Now, HBCU’s have put their foot in the door to help make education more equal. HBCU’s have been relevant and still are relevant to this day. Having parents that have attended and graduated from HBCU’s and comparing their experiences to non-HBCU’s, the most obvious difference was the sense of community. Not only do HBCU’s care about each student’s individual education, they also care about each student’s character. For example, you experience things outside of the classroom at an HBCU, such as, connection, extensive support, acceptance, and encouragement from fellow colleagues. Instead of selecting certain individuals for higher opportunities, HBCU’s make equal opportunities for all individuals to succeed. These qualities are what distinguish HBCU’s from non-HBCU’s and make them relevant till this day. At an HBCU you learn the importance of tradition. Every innovation has an ultimate source from which it came and to stay true to that ultimate source one must stick to tradition. The original purpose of HBCU’s was to offer higher learning opportunities for all African Americans, and not to “weed out” individuals. This is a tradition that HBCU’s have stood by since the beginning and that all colleges could learn from. I plan to take part in the HBCU tradition as I attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University this fall.
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Home > Forums > Interest Groups > HBCU Specific Topics & Concerns > Scholarship Opportunities > Essay Submissions: Living the HBCU Legacy
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