Should you go to an HBCU?

Should you go to an HBCU?

August 27, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


– Over the decades we’ve
enjoyed a solid handful of references to HBCU’s
and black Greek life and pop culture. – You could not tell me
Hillman college wasn’t real when I was a kid, and I am so glad social media didn’t exist when I was trying to
recreate that Drumline scene. Y’all know the one. (drumming) (crowd cheering) – And while we swooned over Janelle Monae’s Electric Lady music video, and played bootleg recordings of Beyonce’s Coachella performance on loop until we had the chance to play the Netflix documentary on loop, we can’t all the way relate actually. – I mean, to be clear,
we are not these guys. (quirky music) But we attended a PWI and
didn’t pledge a black sorority. – Was that a mistake? – I don’t know. – We want to look past romanticized ideas of house parties and step shows, and understand the impact that these institutions still have today. – To do that, we have to
understand the history of black people in The United States seeking higher education. (funky music) – Remember when we talked
about reconstruction after the civil war? The emancipation of enslaved
people brought with it the challenge of building a new society in which their humanity is now recognized. (phone ringing) – Freedmen’s Bureau hotline,
how can I assist you today? Alright, alright. Oh, so you want to know
if we have a database of schools that actually
accept black students? Alright. Right. No. They definitely wouldn’t do that. (mumbles) Hi, so sorry, yeah I will
have to get back to you, once a school like that exists. – Black folks weren’t allowed to attend existing universities so they had to form their own. The first colleges for
African Americans were mostly established by black churches with the support of The Freedmen’s Bureau and the American Missionary Association. – The AMA was a non-denominational
abolitionist group founded in 1846, and during reconstruction they founded 11 colleges, including Huston-Tillotson
University here in Austin, Texas. And together with the Freedmen’s
Bureau, Howard University. – We personally may not
have an HBCU connection but we got the PBS hook
up and toured Howard, thanks to our friends at
PBS member station, WHUT. – Hey y’all so I’m here in Washington D.C. on Howard University’s campus at WHUT and I am here with my friend – Mikael, I’m the
Creative Services Manager here at WHUT, the first
and still only HBCU licensee of a public work out station. So, I will be taking E
out of these streets. So, we gonna make sure that we can get the gist of this campus. – There you go. – For those of you who
don’t know, fun fact. Howard was actually
founded by a white guy. – So Howard is named after a union general Oliver Otis Howard. Who was, at the time, the commissioner of the Freedmans Bureau. – Oh, he was about it. And as much as a white guy in post civil war US could be about it. – Yeah. – But he invested something
into the university. Or into our experience that
we would not have gotten. That’s sometimes what you
need is that first step to make something as amazing and as valuable as Howard university. – While it’s not the
oldest HBCU in the country – That title goes to the Cheyney
University of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1837, it was originally called
the African Institute, and then the Institute for Colored Youth. The times. – Howard’s brand
recognition comes from it’s impressive alumni, making
it an epicenter of culture. – So, this is how change tends to happen. People take action, and
legislation follows. It doesn’t quite fit,
people take more action, and legislation is updated. It’s these series of steps over time that create what future
generations see as progress. The first HBCU’s were
private, funded by religious or philanthropic groups and individuals. But in 1890 the second
Morrill Land Grant Act specified that states using
Federal higher education funds must provide an education
to black students. Either by opening the doors
of their public universities, or by establishing new schools specifically to serve black students. Now, this is almost 70 years before we even get to the integration of our Alma Mater. – In 1928 the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools began formally
surveying and accrediting HBCU’s. It wasn’t until 1965,
almost 100 years after a school like Howard was founded, that the Higher Education Act of 1965 formalized the HBCU definition. Officially recognizing their
contribution to education. – Today, there are 105 HBCU’s. They enroll 11% of
black students in the US while only representing