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Living the HBCU Legacy Essay Posted on 07-26-2008
Norfolk, VA
Living The HBCU Legacy”
By Russsell Jones
If ever there were hidden gems amongst the crown jewels of American society, a very strong case could be made for our 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Through the years these very unique institutions of higher learning have served multiple purposes while still adhering to their main mission as the breeding ground for the best and brightest from the African American community. Once the only option for African Americans seeking higher education and advanced training, HBCUs opened a door opportunity that has given many African Americans the chance to attain skills and training that was vital in helping them to gain entrance into various sectors of the American workforce and become leaders and major contributors to the activities within their own communities. HBCUs issued African Americans the artillery needed to go out and prove to America and the world that they were just as articulate, intelligent, and capable as their white counterparts, to handle the tasks involved with shaping the fabric and infrastructure of this country. HBCUs were instrumental in preserving the psyche of those who were privileged to walk their hallowed grounds by instilling the notion within their students that they were capable of triumph over the struggles and obstacles that have plagued African Americans since 1609. Older African Americans who attended HBCUs express much gratitude for the nurturing and guidance they received in an environment that was much different from the unfriendly world that awaited them once they got beyond the campus gates. Also, HBCUs gave root to many social, artistic, and spiritual activities that are still prevalent within African American culture today. HBCUs are relevant today because they are still very viable institutions of higher learning although other doors of opportunity have been opened. HBCUs offer just as many fields of study, ranges of activity, and success in the job market as other traditional colleges and universities. However, HBCUs are the sole entities were you can have the alternative journey in higher education that is “The Black College Experience”. Moreover, the chance to attend an HBCU can be a positive boost to the egos of those who have not had many positive African American role models before that point and a continued source inspiration for those who simply chose to be educated by their own or carry-on a family tradition. HBCUs have taught us that if we as African Americans apply ourselves to accomplishing meaningful goals, our possibilities for greatness are limitless. Lastly, if anyone needs proof that HBCUs have brought forth good fruit; we should be proud to point out the entrepreneurial accomplishments of Earl Graves, the scientific research of George Washington Carver, the groundbreaking educational efforts of Booker T. Washington and Mary Mcleod Bethune, the achievements in the entertainment industry by Erykah Badu, Tom Joyner, and Tim Reid, milestones in sports by Walter Payton and Avery Johnson, and the humanitarian and civil rights work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. HBCUs are facilitators of greatness.
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Home > Forums > Interest Groups > HBCU Specific Topics & Concerns > Scholarship Opportunities > Essay Submissions: Living the HBCU Legacy
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