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.
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!