By @Butterfly.Betterfly// COO & VP of HBCU Pride Nation
Louisiana Weekly and The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported that the rise of racial tensions have students looking for a safe space to learn and grow.
I believe that students are looking for understanding.
We’re always hoping to find people that we identify with. That’s why the cafe is everyone’s FAVORITE! You can always count on friends that provide you with a community, the Soul Food breakfasts and dinners, MUSIC, the strolling and STEPPING, HOMECOMING! When I think of my HBCU my body gets chills!
We want to feel empowered in our environments, and we want to receive a once in a lifetime experience. HBCUs hold so much heritage and history. We’re able to feel heard during times of racial injustices because the staff and students understand easily and, many times openly. The first Black University, was founded in 1837. And how swaggy is this? Cheyney University was originally named the Institute of Colored Youth and would refer to themselves as ICY (the same phrase to catch popularity in 2018 by Saweetie and Kash Doll!)
Black Universities have been educating black students about 182 years now; White Universities have been educating black students for about 65. That’s 117 years of progress in the Black community thanks to HBCU’s. During the century that Black Colleges led, they provided the people with hope, support, training, service, leadership, and purpose.
Black communities faced the learning of a new language and number system, even if it meant risking their lives because they knew that understanding their freedom would only come through understanding the language. Many Blacks suffered torture to read and be free, and they would later endure the mental trauma that was instilled in slavery, both, equally as painful. Our institutions led us through the abolishment of slavery to 1870; they led us in the establishment of new communities, skills, and jobs as well. By the 1900’s, Fraternities and Sororities were created to unite and organize leaders like W.E.B. DuBois, who would take precedent in the academic realms, uplifting the consciousness of people and inspiring others. HBCUs helped us in the fight for voting access as voting was incredibly restricted for Blacks until the 1940’s. Unfortunately during these years the Black Communities were plagued by Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan hate group; HBCUs provided a safe haven, preparation, and defense through it all.
Academically, Black folks were proving to be just as intelligent and capable in every field of study. In 1954, segregation of public schools was established unconstitutional and Black and White students would merge across the country! However, the education was not equal! Predominately White Institutions reeked of racism and injustice as they grew acclimated to their new counterparts of color. Between then and the 70’s, HBCU leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. led us through civil rights movements. HBCUs taught students how to cultivate change through things like town hall meetings, sit-ins, freedom rides, and more. In the great words of Whitley Gilbert from “A Different World” HBCU sitcom- “you can go to any college you’d like, but no college is going to teach you to know and love yourself like Hillman College!”
SHOUTOUT TO THE FOLLOWING HBCU’s and their year of growth. Congratulations and thank you for your continued service!
Elizabeth City State University had an 18 percent increase over the last year!
North Carolina A&T University saw its fifth consecutive year of increased enrollment and has the highest enrollment of any HBCU in the country!
Talladega College saw a 55.5 percent increase in 2018.
Central State University brought in their largest first-year class ever!
Grambling State University has seen an annual increase in student enrollment for the fourth consecutive year!
Harris-Stowe State University had a 19 percent increase from 2017 and a 34 percent increase from 2014. In 2018, they welcomed their largest first-year class in the past 10 years!
Bowie State University saw total enrollment increase by 3 percent from last year, more students than any other year before. Undergraduate enrollment increased 2 percent and graduate enrollment increased by 5 percent from 2017.
Winston-Salem State University also reported its highest overall enrollment since 2014. Additionally, the number of African American graduate students increased 24 percent compared to the previous academic year.