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The Role of Hbcus in American Society

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For almost two hundred years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities or HBCUs have played a pivotal role in the education of African-American people, and negro people internationally. These schools have provided the majority of black college graduates at the Graduate and Post-Graduate level; schools such as Hampton University, Morehouse University, Spellman University and Howard University are four universities at the forefront of the advanced education of blacks. For sometime there has been a discussion on whether or not these institutes should remain in existence or if they are just another form of racism. There were also concerning the quality of education provided at these institutions. In my opinion, from the evidence provided in our own world today, HBCUs are very important and significant in the education of black people throughout the nation, and are essential to our society.

With regards to the opinion that the existence of HBCUs is in fact, a mellowed form of racism, one must first remember the history behind the origins of HBCUs Many people believe that these institutions have outlived their purpose because we live in a fully integrated society and these institutions stand as hallmarks of segregation. However, by thinking this way is not an analyzing the complete picture because one must bear in mind that HBCUs are old and hallowed institutions of higher learning established in a time when talented, desiring and tenacious African-Americans wished to go to school but could not attend places such as the established white universities of the time. Most people who believe that HBCUs are no longer useful also believe that because the law forbids the practice of racism HBCUs should be shut down. However, few take into consideration the many white historically white institutions with a legacy of turning away talented African-Americans. What about these schools? Should they not be closed down as well? I believe that persons who are proponents of the abolition of HBCUs are subconsciously practicing racism, because they are not making mention of the many schools in existence with a predominantly white student body; HBCUs are not meant to be a form of segregation but a part of history.

I also believe that HBCUs are a better alternative to affirmative action. These institutions have the capacity to attract and motivate many young black people, to advance their education. By seeing people just like them, with similar backgrounds and similar interest making great achievements, it provides those young black people with a pride and a sense of empowerment. This is most effective in the poorer neighborhoods where morale is low. It is true that HBCUs enroll students with the lowest test scores in American education; according to Elias Blake Jr. in the article from Emerge, “Black colleges are still enrolling a majority of the most vulnerable students that have the lowest income and the lowest test scores…” (par. 7). Studies show that in many disadvantaged communities, the quality of education is not up to par with the quality in the wealthier communities. Therefore, those in these poorer communities are at a disadvantage. But from the statistics on the amount on the amount

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