By: Jasmine Roberson
In the past few years, I have gotten a frenzy of questions from friends, counselors, teachers, family members, and every other adult in my life. They ask what I want to major in, what scholarships I’m shooting for, and finally, where I wish to apply. These questions almost always lead me to passionately speak on my commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), and understanding that HBCU’s have an outstanding legacy of achievement that has been built upon an unrivaled sense of community.
Nevertheless, in the midst of this overwhelming “college craze”, while many adults understand the sense of legacy and community, I have noticed a certain stigma about HBCU’s amongst my peers. I realized that a lot of my peers view HBCU’s as sub-par or think that attending one would result in you being a less well-rounded person. I feel as if this misconception needs to be addressed because in reality, it is the exact opposite.
The general idea that HBCUs are sub-par is saddening because with any school, what you get out of it is up to you. You can look at numerous HBCU alumni such as Martin Luther King Jr., Philycia Rashad, and Thurgood Marshall and see that HBCUs have a legacy of greatness, graduating countless people who have become successful leaders in their fields. And going to an HBCU can allow any student to be inspired by what alumni have accomplished.
Attending an HBCU also provides you with many of the necessary tools for self confidence. Because they provide such a close-knit, family-like environment, a student is taught not only how to navigate the world but more importantly how to love themselves in a world that tells them they are not worthy. They do this by surrounding a student with inspiring examples of Black Excellence and also instilling in them a sense of pride that allows you to go through life not comparing yourself to others or feeling unworthy. This is one of the biggest keys to success.
HBCUs should never be looked at as sub-par, or closed minded because they are simply giving students the tools needed for the future, giving black students the best opportunity to be the best that they can be.