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Living the HBCU way Posted on 08-01-2008

HBCU Living Scholarship Essay August 1, 2008

Kasi Self

Education as to the needs of a society is important if that society is to create and sustain growth.” Historical Black Colleges and Universities have helped the country evolve into a new era of culturally diverse education. While the education of African American youth is their primary mission, HBCUs play many other important roles in the nation. The history of HBCUs in America has contributed to the viewpoint of African-Americans advancing academically, financially, socially, and economically. They are relevant because they mold the attendees minds to see the bigger picture of American society. HBCUs are about creating opportunities through advanced education. For some Blacks wanting to advance in higher education attending an HBCU was their only option. HBCUs were founded to educate former slaves and the African-American youth in America. HBCU's were created to advance our culture and do something constructive since we were no longer slaves. At the time education was a priority and still is today. Since then HBCUs have evolved and continue because African-American's still experience discrimination. Fast forward to the present... now we are free to be educated anywhere. Traditional universities are offering full scholarships to black youth to attend their institutions of higher learning. HBCUs play an important role to today's society. HBCUs keep people grounded and let them know that the sky is the limit. Life is seen with 20/20 vision, and not with the rose colored glasses that are distributed to wear when they attend majority schools. There is so much culture that people are unaware or ignorant of. Blacks who went to majority schools long before Brown vs. the Board of Education and affirmative action programs did not need to be reminded of their heritage nor that their main goal was going to school to get a degree, not to be socially accepted by Whites. It seems that in our culture minorities are the only group of people that have to reach out for the friendship and acceptance of Whites with the sense of having to prove ourselves. Today’s youth will not know Black history since it is not taught in the schools, unless it is taught at home or a predominantly Black school. Attending a majority school I did not know many black historical figures beside MLK, Malcolm X, and few others that are talked about. The nurturing received at an HBCU will not be found at a majority institution. Tenacity and creativity are enduring traits that have lasted through slavery, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement. The future generations will know that they are as prepared as anyone from a majority institution. Most importantly, by attending a HBCU they will have pride that they were a part of something great. The personal relationships, the brotherhood, the love, the guidance, and the knowledge of self is something that can't be taught. HBCU's get a bad wrap for being inferior which they are not. Black colleges shape the future of Black America. These Institutions were designed to meet the unique educational and social needs of the African American and are committed. They provide a special environment at an important time in the life of the young adult. They give African American youth a sense that they are in charge and that success is attainable. Without Black colleges, Blacks would have never made the financial and economic strides that are evident today. Our freedom has been bought with sweat, blood, tears, determination, curiosity, forbearance and hard work. The role of the Black college is to teach all how to acknowledge our merits and learn from them to succeed. I believe that HBCU's should continue because Black Ethnicity is diverse in culture. In order to strengthen our knowledge of each other as a culture through education, experience and unity we need to fellowship on the collegiate level. Not stating that you may not get that at a predominantly white or culturally/ethnically diverse school, but HBCU's are set up for that type of education. I also believe that this type of learning broadens the perspective of each individual so that we still may learn other culturally diverse lessons. I have learned how to be open-minded to people from all walks of life and I owe it all to my HBCU!
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