Historically black colleges and universities

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What is the Black University idea all about? What are its goals? And what might it look like? The university focusing on the particular needs of the Afro-American community will be a center of learning. ... It must be based on an educational ideology grounded in an uncompromising goal of psychological independence from the oppressor (and his oppressive system). ~ Gerald McWorter

Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.

Quotes[edit]

  • It has gradually become a recognized rule of philanthropy that no Negro higher school can survive unless it pleases the white South. This domination is maintained through white Southerners on the boards of trustees, through the teaching force, and especially by pressure on white Northern presidents and teachers.
    • W. E. B. Du Bois, "The Dilemma of the Negro," The American Mercury, vol. 3, no. 9, September 1924, p. 183
  • Many HBCUs resembled plantations with black and white slave drivers for presidents, powerless faculty as slaves, students as the cotton, and corporate capital as the slaveholders.
    • Ibram X. Kendi, The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965–1972 (2012)
  • Blackness does not categorically exclude all white people from the University; it redefines the standards for their participation and the possibility for their involvement. In much the same way that independent African countries have attempted to redefine the possible role of the European, so in the Black University the role of the white man must be redefined and carefully placed for the maximum good of all. ... The participation must be based on a commitment to the goals and aspirations of the Afro-American community, and the white participant must possess the sacrificial humility necessary for one historically and socially identified with the beast of Afro-American history and the system of oppression.
    • Gerald McWorter, "The Nature and Needs of the Black University," Negro Digest, vol. 17, no. 5 (March 1968), p. 8
  • What is the Black University idea all about? What are its goals? And what might it look like? The university focusing on the particular needs of the Afro-American community will be a center of learning. ... It must be based on an educational ideology grounded in an uncompromising goal of psychological independence from the oppressor (and his oppressive system).
    • Gerald McWorter, "The Nature and Needs of the Black University," Negro Digest, vol. 17, no. 5 (March 1968), p. 9
  • These goals must redefine two dangerously-pervasive patterns found among Afro-American faculty and students today. One of the patterns is for education to be simply a process of acclimation and adjustment to the white world. One goes to a white school to rub shoulders with them, "because, son, you got to make a livin' out in their world." Another pattern is the play-culture of friendship cliques and fraternity life.
    • Gerald McWorter, "The Nature and Needs of the Black University," Negro Digest, vol. 17, no. 5 (March 1968), p. 10
  • And finally, the Black University must impart to all who are associated with it the strength to be alone. The struggle against ignorance, just as with the struggle of power, is one within which the forces of good are often small in number and sparsely placed. An Afro-American of the Black University must have inner strength, positive historical identity, and a vision of the good, for only in having these traits will he be able to stand up in a world dominated by evil and be secure even in being alone.
    • Gerald McWorter, "The Nature and Needs of the Black University," Negro Digest, vol. 17, no. 5 (March 1968), p. 10
  • By the mid-1880s blacks of all classes, in the North as well as the South, were coming to feel that the intense and implacable hostility of whites left them no alternative but to accept a separate existence apart from the larger American community. Many continued to protest and agitate for all their rights as citizens, but the impossibility of halting their exclusion had to be acknowledged. Confronted with this situation black Americans began to pour their energies into the creation of cultural, welfare, religious, educational, economic, and social institutions that would be counterparts to the ones from which whites barred them.
    • Alfred A. Moss, Jr., The American Negro University: Voice of the Talented Tenth (Louisiana State University Press: 1981), p. 10

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