Wednesday, September 22, 2010
HBCU's: The Foundation We Need! (COMMENTARY)
I have often heard fierce criticism of HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Some go on and on about how the institutions are ineffective and poorly managed. Once I heard a parent, who is a graduate of a HBCU, say that he would rather send he would rather his children atten traditionally white institutions. Clearly, he was implying black schools are inferior to their white counterparts.
This type of thinking pains me because it is indicative of how we see ourselves in society. It is not just a case of not knowing our history, but shunning the lessons that we're taught. HBCU is not an acronym for lack of better words or a brand for marketing campaigns. It is our four letter thesis statement telling the world how we changed our stifling conditions and redefined our destiny.
They say if you teach a man how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. Good people, we we established our own institutions not only for scholarly recognition, but to construct stronger and sustainable communities. Our predecessors knew education would make the difference in having a loaf of bread as opposed to just a slice.
Last week we celebrated HBCU's, TODAY we must continue the fight to keep them alive. As homicide and incarceration paralyzes our communities we must embrace our HBCU's as the pressure needed to convert coal into diamonds. Whether it is business, communications or health care, the potential for black wealth is present on black college campuses.
And wherever I may go I will let it be known, I am not a victim but a victor. I am a product of a HBCU.