Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Historically Black College or University-What Is Our Role In The 21st Century by I.C. Jackson


Have you ever thought about the role of the HBCU in modern times? If we know our history, then we know that these institutions were founded because of and in spite of the bigotry and systematic discrimination that Black Americans suffered during post-slavery Reconstruction and Jim Crow. We needed institutions of higher learning that catered to our needs, and the HBCU was born. However, now that times are different, does the HBCU still continue to play a significant role in our society?
I ask this question because as conservative thinkers, the idea of an all Black learning environment may at times seem contradictory to our sociopolitical beliefs. Furthermore, as are most college campuses, HBCU campuses are havens of liberal thought, even more so because of our collective loyalty to the Democratic party. Most politically concientious students at HBCUs are Democrats with tendencies toward Black nationalism.
As conservatives, that is not who we are at all. I am proud to be Black, but Black is not what defines me. My race is only a portion of who I am, and although God created me as a Black woman for a purpose, that purpose was not to create a superficial basis for my identity.
We could say that we still attend HBCUs for the history, but if the truth is told, that history is mostly social, (the African American studies departments are tiny, and so one sided that they aren't relevant) and even that is dying out. I'm greek, and in case you didn't know it, the greek scene at most HBCUs these days is cat to say the least (using a little bit of vernacular), and the sophistication that once shrouded the serious, focused student bodies has been replaced by a gutter idea of being crunk at all costs. The marching bands are still hot, but that's far less than enough to justify the need or relevance of today's HBCU.
So, for a conservative thinker, what purpose does the HBCU serve? You guys are fortunate enough to have figured out which way was "right" while you were still in school...

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