Is your HBCU still relevant in the 21st century?

An editorial by Britney Broussard that questions if African American students who now have the choice of going to college would choose a Historically Black College or not. And if they could have another chance at college would they make the same decision?

“I have attended both a traditional and historically black college. The reason I chose to attend an HBCU is because I wanted to experience a school where the majority of the race were African Americans. While at Howard, I felt for the first time comfortable in my own skin. That is why I would choose an HBCU again because it gives minorities a chance to be successful without being intimidating.”

Tallahassee’s Florida A&M University in 2008 (Ennis Davis)

Even though HBCU’s are known for giving African Americans a sense of pride and of their heritage they also have their drawbacks. Many historically black colleges are not that well-known and that might hinder one’s opportunities. There is also a stigma against historically black colleges because they might not have the best resources or teachers that some traditional colleges have.

I have never attended a historically black college. I have attended the University of North Florida, the State College in Jacksonville and graduated from Jacksonville University. I know what it is like to be one of three black kids in a classroom of twenty students. I even remember in my last semester at JU taking American History. Reading works written about whites and minorities that are both diplomatic, cruel and sometimes too real. Having non-minority classmates say how hard it is to hear some of the material we covered in class and wanting to look at them like they were crazy.

But I have never felt the need to attend a historically black college. And to my knowledge I have never felt wronged or not safe because of being black. I know that historically black colleges are important because they were the first colleges to let in minorities. But there are many traditional colleges who have produced many influential African Americans too. As a black woman, I can now choose which college I want to attend by working hard and having the ability to pay my way or receiving financial help.

Bethune-Cookman University’s proposed Student Life Center in Daytona Beach (BCU)

My best college experience was at Jacksonville University because I was a staff member of the school paper’s Navigator, had amazing teachers and received AB Honor Roll two semesters straight. If I had to choose a college to attend again it would be Jacksonville University. Sometimes you have to look past black and white and see in color. College is a time to find yourself and choose where you want your home to be for the next four years.

Article by Britney Broussard