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Are HBCUs Still Necessary?

Historically Black colleges and universities were created because of the lack of access Black Americans had to education. Today, with the ability to attend any school in the country, more Black people than ever are receiving college degrees, especially women. So, are these historically Black institutions still necessary? Leonydus Johnson, host of Informed Dissent Podcast, and John X. Miller from The Undefeated debate this topic on Bold TV.

Benefits of HBCUs

Many Black students come from areas where schools don’t have the funding to prepare them for college. The education isn’t on the same par as wealthier neighborhoods, and they don’t have the same access to tutors to get good scores on standardized tests. HBCUs give these students the opportunity to further their education when other schools won’t take them. Miller also points out the cultural differences between HBCUs and predominantly white institutions. Many Black students just wouldn’t feel as welcome at another school.

Drawbacks of HBCUs

The truth is that only about 10% of Black college students attend an HBCU, and with rising college prices and tumbling federal assistance, historically Black colleges and universities are closing at an alarming rate. Schools that were once powerhouse institutions, such as Morris Brown College, have lost accreditation. Johnson believes that the classification of a Black institution perpetuates Jim Crow-era ideas about segregation. He goes on to say that de-emphasizing racial identity is a way to move past racism. Do you agree?

Both of our guests agree that HBCUs will still be around in 20 years. They also agree that the right path for both HBCUs and predominantly white colleges is more integration. The integration will lift up struggling HBCUs and improve the culture of whiter schools. The hope is that this also will put all students on the path to wealth building.


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