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Living the HBCU Legacy Posted on 08-01-2008
springfield, , VA

Valerie Venable

Living the HBCU Legacy
“Had it not been for the Negro schools and colleges, the negro would to all instant and purpose, have been driven back to slavery” (DuBois 1935.) In this quote DuBois is explaining how important education is and without it generations of people and nationalities will fall behind. Education is a key tool in corporate American, the more educated a man/ woman is the more opportunities they will be given. HBCU’s have helped shaped America. They have repositioned the status of African Americans in society. HBCU’s have fought against racism traveling back to 1837 with Cheyney University the first HBCU. HBCU’s have given blacks in America the opportunity to compete with other races on an equal playing field. History would surely be written differently without HBCU’s. Without them the world might not have ever known about people like Thurgood Marshall, Booker T. Washington, Jesse Jackson, and Bill Cosby; who have all attended an HBCU. After the civil war, HBCUs became the place where blacks were able to attend college freely. They were accepted, supported, educated, appreciated, and welcomed. Students could express themselves without fear or reticule. HBCU gave blacks a purpose and hope which change the way how black students perceived themselves. Racism still exists today. That’s why HBCUs are still relevant. The same educational value and life lessons these facilities were teaching in the 1960’s are still being taught today. New generations need inspiration, hope, acceptance, support, and an education. HBCU’s are institutions of walking history. History is domed to repeat itself if we are not educated about the past. Continuing the legacy and reserving the black heritage is all part of the HBCCU goal for the future. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically ….. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education” (Martin Luther King Jr.) HBCU are providing students with true education and a unique cultural experience. As a student who attends a HBCU I am being prepared for my future. I am given real life situation where my character and people skills are evaluated. Not all lessoned can be taught in a classroom. My first day of class I was told a resume is not always on paper, point well taken. First impression are very important, sometimes it’s the only chance that’s giving. Students are given a good education but are also being taught lessons about experience. Students are highly encouraged to get involved in student activity and to have pride in yourself and school. At North Carolina A&T the campus is full of pride “Aggie Pride” which encourages me to do well as a student and have pride in myself. No other institution could give me this but an HBCU. When there are people who are rooting for you every step of the way, success is the only option. "He lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry."
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Home > Forums > Interest Groups > HBCU Specific Topics & Concerns > Scholarship Opportunities > Essay Submissions: Living the HBCU Legacy
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