Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are Black Colleges and Universities Still Needed?

Do we still need our Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the age of Obama? Recently I heard this question asked after the subject was broached merging an HBCU into the larger White system.

I am an Alumni of Oakwood College, now Oakwood University, and I would answer Hell Emphatically, Yes!

But...But Wait... Before I tell you why I believe it I would like to ask a few questions of my own.

Is there anything that prevents White college aged students from attending a Historically Black College and University? No mandates that states that only Afrikan American Students can attend? No threat of tax exemption being lost? Nothing in the mission statement preventing it?

Perhaps, a loss of funding from the grants and endowments left by the founders of the colleges and universities? You know those rich Philantrophists and slave owners who left millions in land and currency in order to try to make up (ie try to get into Heaven) for their part in slavery. You know Kidnapping, rape, murder, pimping and pandering and illegal imprisonment, child abandonment they did! Oh right that was kinda bias, huh?

That is how they made all that money right? Not to mention the wholesale slaughter and land grab from the Indigenous people, the so called Indians. How bout the dynamite, guns and nitro sold in order to carry out those deeds, not to mention, that Europe thanks to superior firepower, was successful in colonizing/enslaving/minerally raping, all of Afrika and most of the world. Those Good White People! Oh yeah, bias again, huh?

So is it a matter of attendance? Are Afrikan American kids not attending HBCU's? We know most premium athletes, male and female, aren't! Mainline colleges and universities begin following them and writing interest letters to them sometimes as early as 9 years old.

How many NBA and NFL caliber kids came out of HBCU's in the last ten years? I'll wait......

Girl from Ipanema playing in my head.


Still waiting........

Even if the kids didn't opt for a professional sports career, more talented athletes received scholarships and offers to mainline colleges than HBCU's could give out. The Athletic programs provide millions of dollars in revenue and advertising.

So once again, HBCU's, are overwhelmed by the superior firepower! Mainly, Money this time!

All this aside. Why Merge? Black colleges do not racially discriminate, never have. Black Colleges and Universities give a high quality education and employ great educators. Black Colleges and Universities are also affordable, steeped in, rich cultural pride and history.

So again, why Merge? Better yet, what's wrong with the system right now? How would Black folks benefit from a merger? What would we lose?

It was my experience while at Oakwood, that White Adventists from Huntsville, Alabama, more often than not, did not attend Oakwood, even though they could. They went to Southern, a predominately White but mixed school which was in Knoxville, Tennessee about 100 some odd miles away. Why wouldn't the parents send them to Oakwood? Black parents send their children to Southern and to other Predominately White and Mixed culturally and racially schools all the time. Is Culture an excuse? If it is for White folks what about Black folks saying it is a necessity? Just asking

I can tell you we'd lose something that is unique. Our history, our traditions, our ability to give someone a chance to build or rebuild themselves.

Local elementary schools and high schools are not preparing our kids for college but are doing a hellava job prepin them for the pen. How many Black kids would be admitted to the now merged school? How many would be able to pass the entrance exam? The SAT test, The ACT test? What about grade point average?

And for them bootstrap folks. you know the ones, nobody every gave me nothing, that's a lie!
A Big freakin LIE! Everybody who wrote so much as a letter for your ass to get even a moments consideration in the mind of some administrator or music teacher or goverment program. Somebody helped you! Yet you turn your back on the rest. I speaking to you so called talented 10th!

Many years ago, an educator, told me it was easier to get into some Black Colleges but HELL to get out! A Black college knows you might not have all the things you need to succeed coming in but when you get out then you not only will have them but you will have more! That was my experience. It's been the same experience for alot of people I know.

But what about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps Mista Jaycee?

What about em? Black Colleges and Black People have always pulled themselves up when we had nothing but stiff opposition. Remember when we had poorly funded schools? When our educators didn't have current books and supplies? Remember...back then....Yesterday? Just yesterday and next week and next school year?

No! Black Colleges are still needed even in the age of Obama! Only Black folks are gonna look out for Black folks. How many Black non athletes go to UCLA? Go to Norte Dame? Go To University of California? How many are admitted to Princeton? How many are male?

I'll wait? Now, by comparsion ask how many are at Howard, Fisk, Alabama A and M, Paul Quinn, Marshall, Morehouse, Spellman, Clark Atlanta, Morris Brown, Oakwood? How many are non athletes and how many are male? How many of those would have been accepted to the main-line?

How many graduates from Black Colleges does America benefit from now?

Calling on all Black Folks! Conservative, Progressive whatever! Donate to HBCU's!

Calling on Everyone else. Apply to a HBCU. Great Education! Great Culture! Great Period!

BE Mindful! BE Prayerful! BE Careful!



Miss.Stefanie said...

I think by classifying them as Black Universities and White is not my taste. I mean, have we not saw past color yet? No, but enough to elect the first black President. But why bring education in it. I dunno the black university stroked me wrong. Then again I'm PMS'ing today...so---yeah I may not make sense

Anonymous said...

I agree with your reasoning but personally i think that the main reason why we don't merge HBCU's with every other college is because what difference will it really make? There are religious based universities, sex based universities, and various other ways to label schools but at the end of the day the accredidation is all the same. I dont think they should all be merged because the name symbolizes the history behind the school as well u know? like notre dame. i mean all kind of people go there, but it IS a catholic based school. Its like a part of the schools history to me. Especially from the black colleges.

Anonymous said...

and ps-i strongly support them. i got in to the cal state system but i have applied to many HBCus and plan to finish my last 2 years out at one =]]]

-:|:-.T.Roqka.-:|:- said...

I must ask... What is your major.?

Mista Jaycee said...

While at Oakwood I had two, I was a Music Vocal Performance Major and a Broadcasting/Communications major. Whyyyyyyy?

Bookworm Girl said...

hey mr. jaycee, no disrespect to you but ....

"only black folks are gonna look out for black folks."

that's a big fat effin lie!! i know from professional and personal experience that does not happen. i blocked my children from attending ANY hbcu's. nothing but drama, back-stabbing, and mediocrity.

more power to you for staying the course. good luck, friend. ;)

how appropriate that i leave my last comment on the blog of one of my first commentors.

Emeka Amakeze said...

Physical merger does not mean a thing. The separation you see is in the minds of people but i believe it's high time people learned to live beyond the colors of their skins.

uglyblackjohn said...

I think that city colleges can do the job of remediation that often occurs at HBCUs.
Or, they may want to join the other conferences and open their base of potential students. It's time to take the training wheels off.

jjbrock said...

My daughter is a graduate of Alabama A&M in which she received her BA but, got her Masters from another school. I believe she got an excellence education.

Mista Jaycee said...

Hey Bookie,
Don't stop Blogging! I've written this on your blog. We need you!
Now as to your comment. It is tragic for your children if they do not attend an HBCU not the other way round. Mediocrity? Never! HBCU's graduate more folks than many of the mainline schools. Our Graduates go into the mainstream world and produce some of the greatest benefits America takes for granted. Our graduates recieve a cultural experience that is unobtainable elsewhere. You have alot of issues with your own people as do most of us but as I have said before many times on your blog. You need to come home cause we are your people and you need to be with your family.

Now Black People need to take care of Black People is not a Big Friggin Lie, Only we will take care of us is also not a BF Lie. Mainstream America has shown recently that they do not care about Black Institutions. Other People who have grafted into America, I'm speaking of Immigrants have also shown the same thing. They take care of themselves, Building lil Koreas, Armenias, Italy's all over but where is Lil Afrika, where's Kongo Square and our own economic engine, our own educational interests? I'll wait......
And for the record so called conservatism is no excuse either because the Greatest Afrikan American Conservative George Schuyler started under A Philip Randolph and he stayed engaged with the Black Community. His debates were legendary with Dr. Dubois, Langston Hughes and the rest.

Thomas Sowell is a graduate and former Professor of Howard University. Also a conservative.

Armstrong Williams is a graduate of South Carolina State (HBCU) it is his only redeeming quality.

Mediocity? Never!

Now as far as taking the kid gloves off and this is to my Man Ugly Black John, I hope that I didn't give you the impression that HBCU's are giving a leg up or somehow not educating up to the standard of Main Line Colleges. Nothing could be further from the truth. Recognizing that Black Children may come from substandard schools whereas their fellow Americans have a leg up with better schools, supplies and facilities even decades after Brown vs Ed of Topeka and giving someone the oppertunity to become a college graduate is not coddling it's our responsibility. City Colleges are great! So are main line colleges and universities but it does not excuse or replace our own experience and the point of the post is that we should not give that up. Anyone can go to a HBCU regardless free of discrimination and always could that is not the case and has not been the case in most main-line schools including city colleges which is why HBCU's were created in the first place.
With much love and respect

Bookworm Girl said...

mr. jaycee, i responded to your hbcu comment on my blog. again, thanks for your support. i love your passion for hbcu's, but i will never like hbcu's or all-black anything.

Conservative Black Woman said...

I'm with Bookworm Girl on this. My daughter has made the decision to attend Spelman and although I am happy she is happy I am heartbroken. I don't understand self-imposed segregation -- Self-imposed JIM CROW.

I would have more respect for HBCU if there admission standards were higher but they are laughable. I'm so pissed with my daughter I need to spit because I busted my butt to pay private school tuition since pre-school so she would be prepared to compete with the best and the brightest. Yet she chooses a school where one needs only a marginal gpa or sat score because she want's the "black" experience --How stupid!!!! She is black how much more experienced can one get????. It's a slap in my face.

Not to mention the facts that "black thought" is so monolithic. I don't want my kid to pick up the prevailing mentality for fear of "acting white" or being a "tom" "sell-out" all of the disparaging labels the so called "progressive" blacks subscribe to conservative black thinkers.

I agree with UBJ the training wheels need to come off. It's not serving us well.

LeLe said...

Bookworm, I agree with you! I live in Dallas and I personal can do without Paul Quinn College...I call it Paul Quinn High School because of the mentality of the folks on that campus.

Just becuase it's black and I'm black doesn't make it for me.

LeLe a proud 2002 graduate of University of Texas at Dallas

Mista Jaycee said...

I love it!
Two new readers who comment! Cool!
Well all criticisms are valid and I stand on my statements and support of HBCU's. I too have stories good and bad about my experience but that does not change the point of the post that Black folks should not allow HBCU's to be merged, or scrapped.

Paul Quinn is a commuter school and improvement should be ongoing. But Texas Southern Law is one of the hardest schools in the country. I had a friend also an Oakwoodite who went and was worried because she was pulling a C in one of the Law courses. I was like why are you worried. She would be kicked out of the program for any grade lower than a B. Why?
Because they kept the standard high because of the perception that a Black Law School was inferior. Instead thier standard was that they would be harder than their White counterparts and their graduates would pass the bar on the first try. There are plenty of people who went to Harvard and Princeton and are dumbasses in real life and the workplace including outgoing Presitrick Bush. But Harvard has the reputation, So does Yale and often times that's enough to get you through the door and beyond whereas, a great Black candidate from a great HBCU doesn't have that same pull. It alot of cases that is sorely unfair. HBCUS compete on a high level and sometimes higher than their main-line counterparts but again it is marketing and press. The Miseducation of the Negro is that he does not believe his people or his own institutions.
Please keep reading and commenting.
I love it and Happy New Year!

robusta barista said...

I think colleges which address the needs of Black students is necessary. However, I don't agree that these colleges should be merged with other institutions. When doing this, there is a tendency to "bland" out the integrity of the original institution...things get lost in translation, and don't carry over to the new institution.

Yes, our institutions have been open to all people since inception, but how many nationalities have taken advantage of educational opportunities there? Not many other races beside Blacks. Well, at least we don't discriminate like that!

On another note...Happy New Years to you, Mista Jaycee!! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm one for preserving history and culture *without* discrimination.

Nothing wrong with it!


P.S.: Happy New Year!

I am Jwork said...

Come to my blog and you will get your answer there!!!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ Mista Jaycee - I'm not saying that a quality education is rare at an HBCU.
But why focus on 13% of the population for funding and talent when they should be trying to get the best of the best from the full 100% of the population.
I'd like to see Grambling competing with LSU for the best of ALL students and resources.misc

Mista Jaycee said...

We already compete with LSU although the game is rigged. I'm just saying that we should not give up what is ours. We did that hoping that intergration would lead to something better. It worked on some levels and failed miserablly on others. I would say we should follow the example of our European Jewish friends and keep our culture and our own institutions while enjoying being a part of the larger community as well.

-:|:-.T.Roqka.-:|:- said...

Lol, justtt wondering...
Wow, so you can sing, huh.?