Studies show that minorities, especially African Americans, are largely under-represented in post-secondary education. The majority of African American society has not taken full advantage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities that were built on the emphasis of black improvement. The basis for this might be personal, financial, or even geographical reasons. It might even simply be that all other races had a 400 year head start while we were busy being people’s personal property and kept in ignorance for fear of uprisings and other racial worries of no longer considered being superior above our race. Whatever the case might be, we as African Americans are struggling to climb the “corporate ladder”, simply because we fail to attend post-secondary schooling, and even if we do attend, we are less likely to finish than any other minority including Hispanics. It’s almost shameful that we, as a people, came together long ago to help uplift the African American race by building institutions of higher learning, only to tear those dreams down by not even attending the very institutions that were built especially for us. Because of this, I am writing to put information in front of the race that doesn’t even realize how far we’ve come only to have faltered because of a generation that only does not care about the past, but seemingly is doomed to repeat it. In this research paper I will discuss what exactly Historically Black Colleges and Universities are, social changes in the African American education since we’ve been in the Americas, statistics of African American and post-secondary education, and finally influences in the African American society.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically Black Colleges and Universities are schools that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the African American community. The first Historically Black College was founded in 1837, years before slavery ended. Richard Humphrey was the founder of this first institution and named it “Institute for Colored Youth”. It was located in Philadelphia and eventually was moved to Cheney, where it then became known as Cheney University. The main focus of the institution was to train free blacks to become teachers. There are over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the 20 of the states located in United States of America, Washington D.C., and the Virgin Islands today. Historically Black Colleges and Universities are very diverse. They differ in many aspects. Several are public, while others are private; a number are two year, while some are four-year colleges; some are large, while others are quite small. There are even Historically Black Colleges and Universities where the student population is predominantly white. It all depends on which Historically Black College and University, you attend or research. Don’t get Historically Black Colleges and Universities misconstrued with predominately black colleges and universities. Yes, the basis of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are to focus on the population of the African American students, but the school also has to comply with the sole purpose of advancing black students, along with other requirements stated previously. There are many advantages of attending a Historically Black College. Attending a HBCU exposes you to the culture of African American life. This culture includes all black fraternities and sororities, a different environment of the Student Unions, step shows, and other aspects that you might not fully experience if you attended a predominately white institution (PWI).
Social Changes in African American Education
Considering the social changes in our society over the past 400 years, the black person is still in economic slavery. The black person is dependent upon the other races to do for them probably because of the independency blacks developed during slavery times. But, never the less,...