"All the world is a school, and in it one lesson is just now being taught, and that is the utter insecurity of life and property in the presence of an aggrieved class. This lesson can be learned by the ignorant as well as by the wise. Education, the sheet anchor of safety to a society where liberty and justice are secure, is a dangerous thing to a society in the presence of injustice and oppression." – Frederick Douglas
As Frederick Douglas recognized, education was (and still is) the most important means for societal advancement; not only for blacks, but all races. African Americans have fought the battle for knowledge, all along understanding that knowledge is power. One of the most influential movements for the education and progression of blacks has been the establishment and consequent success of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). These institutions have been defined over hundreds of years by a broad four-stage development process; development of not only HBCUs specifically, but of African American education in the United States as a whole. The four-stage process involves Encouragement, Segregation, Desegregation, and Enhancement. These stages of African American education in the United States, taken independently, each represent a portion of the powerful connection between the black church, its social justice mission, and the proliferation of HBCUs; taken collectively, they signify change. For many, black churches serve “as the educational backbone and spiritual aspirations of the black community” (Watkins).
Born out of the era of Reconstruction, the need for education among blacks was greater at that particular time than at any other point in the nation’s history. Not only was an entire nation rebuilding from the demise and destruction of the self-inflicted Civil War, but the role played by blacks during the war represented the most significant contribution they, as a people, had played to date in the... [continues]
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(2011, 02). The Role of the Church in Historically Black Colleges. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 02, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Role-Of-The-Church-In-595877.html
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