Still A Need for HBCU's Part 2 | Community Spirit

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Still A Need for HBCU's Part 2
Still A Need for HBCU's Part 2

Need for HBCU’s Part 2

“Philosophers have long conceded, however, that every man has two
educators: 'that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives
himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed
all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself.
It is that which constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are
merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-education of the Negro

HBCU’s provide a chance to improve a life and look past mistakes, what
sometimes society tries to throw away, an opportunity to grow and change
for the better. Stated by Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., “People often think of
HBCU’s as places that find services for needy students. This is just one
argument made to justify HBCU’s existence. HBCU’s do things that majority
of college don’t do, that they are more sensitive to certain things.”
HBCU’s allow and encourage youth to mature and
inspire adults to elevate their cognitive growth.

Too many people especially in higher education forget their mistakes of
youth, that maybe from social challenges and even incarcerations they were
given a second chance. Higher education is the right for all citizens no
matter their color, culture or creed. HBCU’s recognize this that is why
some students are allowed to enroll to get their lives back on track. Unique
to HBCU’s instructors see that when a person enrolls they already may have
financial, social or family challenges; their desire to succeed is stronger
because there is a need to be in school and the rewards of education are
apparent. Addressing the unique situations of students; Johnny Anderson a
Southern graduate states that HBCU students, “they’re single parents, teen
parents, folks working two and three jobs to get ahead, dealing with a whole
range of issues related to their individualistic circumstances.”

Even in my class at EWC I have single parents, students working through
medical conditions and those that are working to mature into the person they
need to be to move forward in life. I have found that HBCU’s work to cultivate,
not judge and provide remedial assistance for students that truly do need help
in academic areas. There are professionals that are tops in their fields and contribute
to society. If they had not received the help they needed from an HBCU who
know where they would end up.

“If you can control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his action.
When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself
about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have
to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make
a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back
door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will
demand one.” Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro

The growth and successes of HBCU’s can be seen in data, in 2000 HBCU students
were at 276,000, in 2009 the numbers were 323,000. Success continues to be
shown in other studies, Inside Higher Education has shown that HBCU’s enroll
18 percent of African Americans in higher education and graduate 30 percent of
those who persist to graduation. They graduate 40 percent of African Americans
who obtain degrees in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics) fields, 50 percent of those who go on to become professors and
60 percent of those who major in engineering. The surprising effectiveness of
HBCU’s is that HBCUs are as effective in graduating African-American student’s
equivalent to white institutions (Inside Higher Ed 2009). HBCU’S continue to take
a risk on students, giving them a chance when non Black institutions may not
consider the potential within Black, Hispanic, Latino, Mexican, Haitian and even
South American students. Even the President of Spelman Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.
comments on the benefits of HBCU’s and the help they provide students,
“what I don’t like is the continued question of why HBCU’s are still needed.”
Just from the examples stated they are needed now and in the future.

Students find themselves more challenged than ever before so HBCU’s provide
an opportunity for higher education. Even in a recent speech about HBCU’s
President Obama has claimed that HBCU’s are important to restore the U.S.
to its higher ranking as a higher education powerhouse.

Graduates like Darryl “Topshelf” McClenton (FAMU 2010) are future leaders being
positive role models for others that strive for a college education and attending
HBCU’s. His story is here:

Moving into the 21st century for HBCU’s implementing advanced technology maybe
a challenge, but HBCU’s face challenges and still turn out capable and confident
graduates. If not for the support I received attending an HBCU (SCSU) I would
possibly not have graduated and earned a Bachelors nor continued to strive and
earn a Masters in Educational Technology.  As an instructor at Edward Waters
College (Jacksonville, Florida) I find that there is a strong desire to obtain an
education by the students that attend and at Florida A&M University where my
son attends and soon my daughter. The challenges that the students face are
basically life itself. If Blacks are going to continue to compete and contribute to
society they must keep making education a priority for themselves and their children.
Education may not always open the doors we think should be open, change the
minds and perceptions of Blacks by some in society, but it empowers the spirit
and the mind to press on and to overcome challenges.

Maya Angelo wrote in “Still I Rise”, “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave”; holds true, not to let the challenges of
life and the low expectations of people stop you from growing into a better person.
Slaves even during the inhumanity of slavery understood the importance of education.
Even with the threat of death did Blacks strive to learn to be educated and apply
their education to positive contributions to society.

HBCU's teach from the heart and their experiences not from the microchip
or for political gains. HBCU’s are important because they recognize the human
element of learning and the growth and potential of their students.
Malcolm X’s statement about education can still can be applied even in the
21st century,” “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to
the people who prepare for it today.”

I'm not stating anything against white institutions, I'm not criticizing whites, I'm just
point out that Blacks, those students that do not have an academic foundation need
the interventions that HBCU's provide.
HBCU’s prepare future scholars that will influence the world in many career fields.
Our country still benefits from the education that HBCU’S provide, countries outside
of the U.S. are seeing this as well and sending their students to attend and experience
the HBCU tradition of family bonding and cultural strengthening.

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