The rumors about HBCU’s range from academics to the type of people who attend them. Surprisingly to me, not all of them are good. But even more surprisingly, a lot of the bad perceptions that people have about Historically Black Colleges and Universities, come from Black People who attend not only Predominately White Institutions, but other HBCU’s. Is the problem here more deeply rooted towards black hate? It makes me angry to see other Black students talk down on HBCU’s simply because they are filled with minority students. It makes me wonder, if that’s how you feel when you think of a school filled with black students, is that how you feel when you see yourself?
I am filled with a strong sense of pride when I think about Claflin University. Going to an HBCU wasn’t always my first choice, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I love how interactive the Claflin faculty is with the students, and how helpful they can be with helping you becoming the best person you can become within your field, and with finding a job post-graduation. The smaller classroom and close-knit environment really help to develop a family type bond with everyone in the school.
No, I don’t knock anyone for going to any type of school, HBCU or PWI. But the history that goes into most Historically Black Colleges and Universities is something to definitely be proud of. At one time, these were the only schools that would give African-American students a secondary education. Even our own Claflin University was founded in 1869 for freed slaves. No, I am not stuck in the past and I am not expecting other black students to fill obligated to attend an HBCU.
It’s been said that students who attend HBCU’s are stuck up because they feel as though they are “a better black person” than students who attend PWI’s. It’s been said that students who attend PWI’s are stuck up because they feel as though they are above attending a college where blacks are the majority, and that’s exactly where the problem lies.
The problem is not that students who attend HBCU’s won’t be able to make it in the real world, because “in the real world everyone is not black,” the problem is that black people don’t even know how to work with or accept themselves. In a world where we learn about the culture of other races and ethnicities, sometimes we forget about our own.
That’s what I love about HBCU’s. It shows that the power of black people working together can still be something great.
India Hill is a graduating senior at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC.