Many HBCUs, or historically Black colleges and universities, have been overlooked and underrepresented for a long time. Regardless of that, many of these universities have produced a lot of graduates who have gone to be the top in their field. This accomplishment is done through the many opportunities and fairs that the university or outside organization provides.
Last month on January 27, there was a teacher’s fair hosted by the Education Me Foundation. This event consisted of a discussion panel with alumni and faculty members from various HBCUs talking about the importance of the universities. Other topics discussed were on how to save K-12 education, how the presidential election could help the enrollment at HBCUs, and why they are important.
Since the presidential election, HBCUs have been on people’s radar with Vice President Kamala Harris being an HBCU alumnus and President Biden being supportive of HBCUs. Southern University faculty member Dr. Jacqueline Preastly said that, “I do believe that it will make a significant impact on HBCUs.”
Before the election, many prospective athletes have already chosen to go to HBCUs for either athletics, continuation of their family legacy, for an HBCU experience, or to take a stand against the abuse of Black people in society and predominantly white institutions. During the year 2020, people’s eyes were open to the mistreatment of Black people through the Black Lives Matter movement and many well-circulated videos of discrimination on the Internet. On social media, people are commenting on how they wish they could have gone to an HBCU, but they were not offered the money to go. Either the scholarship was too small, the university did not have money to give, or the university put their money towards the school.
What most people do not know is that much of the money HBCUs get is government funding. Due to most of the funding going to help the school, a majority of HBCUs can only give a small amount for certain scholarships. However, during campaigning President Biden has promised a 10 billion dollar funding for HBCUs. President Biden is quoted as saying that “Just imagine how much more creative and innovative we’d be if this nation held the historically Black colleges and universities to the same … funding and resources of public universities to compete for jobs in industries of the future.” When this was mentioned during the discussion, Dr. Preastly said that “There’s a $60 billion proposal on the table already for HBCUs.” This money could be given to various HBCUs around the nation to continue their education programs and benefit in other areas.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities are not just known for Black people, sports, and their bands. HBCUs are what builds character, longtime friends, creates future politicians, engineers, nurses, lawyers, agricultural scientists, and much more. Dr. Jerryl Briggs, a faculty member at Mississippi Valley State University says, “There is no limitation to what you can achieve or who you are.” This is why students should never want to fault attending an HBCU but instead embrace all the opportunities they offer.