Soap Box Chronicles: HBCU Integrity

I want to start off first by saying that I am by no means a separatist.  Not at all.  I love equal opportunity for everyone.  The reason why there is so much separation in this country now is because there were people who believed that because we were different in whatever way that meant, we needed to be doing different things in different places.  Some of those people still exist today but what can you do?  You can’t make people come out of their old ways…………..stop being ridiculous and foolish…………..grow up and be realistic about the world they live in.  It’s fear.  That is what it is.  Fear that they teach to their offspring because they want to keep that mindset going.  Unfortunately I don’t see that really changing no matter how much the color of America has and will change.

I was listening to my girl Karen Hunter the other day on Sirius (she is my friend in my head………….we are like twins really) and she was speaking about HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges and Universities).  I felt myself getting mad because someone called in and started talking about Affirmative Action.   Now first let’s talk about why it was established in the first place.  For hundreds and hundreds of years in this country, the playing field has not been leveled for African Americans.  My father was born in the time where my grandparents were going through back doors for God’s sake and he would have only been 57 years old if he was still living.  He went to a “colored” elementary school and wasn’t even integrated with Whites until he was in high school.  So when we talk about jobs and education, there was no way that black people were getting a fair shake or a fair opportunity.  This is why these types of initiatives were needed in the first place.

Quick History Lesson:

The first HBCU, Cheyney University, was established in 1937 in Pennsylvania.  All schools established before the year 1964 are the ones considered as such.  These schools were instituted to allow African Americans an opportunity to attend universities and attain college degrees as they weren’t allowed at that time to attend white schools.  As the years progressed, of course some wanted to branch out and take advantage of the schools that weren’t made specifically for us.  In order for that to be anywhere remotely close to successful, legislation had to be in place to make that happen!

So now that I’ve set that stage for you, let me tell you why I’m having an “In My Feelings” moment.

The young lady who had called in  was giving us the example of how Affirmative Action was something that many white Americans were outraged by because of course they didn’t want us infiltrating their schools and work places and neighborhoods.  That Separatist Mindset.    Either way, today, that same irritation they had about how we used AA to advance and be progressive, they are now using it to do the same.  HBCUs are very much so integrated with non people of color and it benefits them on a very high level.  They are considered minorities in our schools and therefore, often times attending on free rides!  The nerve!  Everything is wrong until you need it I guess.

The strongest point I want to make really out of all of this is that we should maintain the integrity of our HBCUs.  I understand we all want to be able to do whatever it is that we want to do.  Move about the country at our own leisure going where we want.  But the reality is, there is nothing wrong at all in maintaining these schools for us and our children. 

Does it sound horrible to suggest that we don’t share this one thing with the world?  That we keep something for ourselves?  We are the most forgiving, nurturing, resourceful, resilient people I’ve seen.  To be oppressed, have to make up your own rules and then share it with the world despite the reasons why it was created in the first place.  I’m just not okay with that.  Why should anyone get away with having a freebie off of something that was created because we had no other option if we wanted to be educated?

I know to some this will sound so harsh but I stand my ground on the sanctity of HBCUs.  It’s our history.  Things are so watered down these days.  Many of the accomplishments, blood, sweat, tears and investment of Blacks are convoluted with other tales and flights of fancy.  We deserve something for ourselves.  For our kids.  That’s just how I feel. 

Off my soap box!
Until Next Time Lovies!

Miss B



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