Black History 101 - 4 Things You Didn't Know about HBCUs

Written By: Saeeda Ruffin

When you think of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, there are some things that probably pop into your mind. Black intellectuals making their mark on the world, step shows and fantabulous marching bands are likely what you think of first. Just pondering it probably made you think of those uber talented drum majors that set things off at every game and major event. YES! We love them. But, in all honesty, that’s kind of a limited view of our dear beloved HBCUs. HBCUs are all of that and so much more. 

We would like to share with you a few interesting pieces of information to help you get better acquainted with our beloved HBCUs. There are so many falsehoods about HBCUs out there. We are going to debunk those ugly myths. We are also going to give you a few more reasons to rejoice in their successes. So, let us help you to get your knowledge up on these impactful institutions.

Here are 4 things you didn’t know about HBCUs: 

They ALL HAVE TO BE Accredited 

HBCUs have to be accredited by the same bodies of higher education as the other predominantly white colleges and universities. That’s why a degree from an HBCU should hold the same prestige and honor as one from any other accredited school. Black people aren’t getting off easy by going to these institutions. The education at an HBCU brings all of the same rigors as would be expected anywhere else. If they lose their accreditation, they are forced to close. So, please, y’all...don’t let people down them because of ignorance.

Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math Are Hallmarks of HBCUs

Contrary to popular belief, HBCUs are hubs for some of the greatest African-American minds who are at the top in STEM. Over half of the nation’s African-American females who have earned doctorates in the sciences have been graduates of Spelman College and Bennett College. Over 45% of African-American health professionals have been educated at an HBCU. Most HBCUs were actually founded with the purpose of educated black people so that they could enter and excel in the STEM fields. Now you know why many have the “A&M” which stands for Agricultural and Mechanical or the “A&T” which stands for Agricultural and Technical in their names. Our forefathers and queens of education knew what they were doing from jump. Thank You, Ancestors.

There Are More HBCUs Than Most People Realize

We all know that HBCUs started out with just a handful of courageous and industrious African-American intellectuals who were willing to sacrifice everything for the betterment of all black people.Those phenomenal trailblazers did all of that for us! Even though we know that the odds were totally stacked against them, some still don't realize how much their vision has grown and how it has come to fruition for generations of African Americans. Because of the work of those educational visionaries, there are over 100 HBCUs in the United States. This includes both private and public colleges and universities, as well as medical schools. 

Some Say That We Don’t Need HBCUs Anymore

When they say that HBCUs are no longer necessary, they lie. In fact, HBCUs are as necessary today as in times past. African-Americans may have more “options” when it comes to education, but, for some, it’s not about options. It’s about history. It’s about learning and understanding their own culture. It’s about wanting to walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest African-Americans to have ever walked the Earth.These future leaders want to be able to pursue their education without dealing with racism, hatred, and the need to constantly prove that they “belong.”Ain’t nobody got time for the foolishness


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