Not attending a historically black school may leave a void

By Eduardo Merille

Brea Jones/ Staff Writer

For a long time, there has been an ongoing debate within the black community about whether historically black colleges and universities are better than predominantly white institutions.

While both options seem to have advantages, it is time to stop putting the two against each other. A school is a school. Not every school is made for every person.

People need to understand that some African American students may feel home at a Historically Black College or University while others may be more comfortable or choose to go to a school that has more diversity and different opportunities.

It isn’t right for people on social media to choose a side and make on the dominate choose.

As a black person, I do have to acknowledge the value and bond between African Americans and HBCU’s.

In 1930 the 121 HBCUs were the only place were African American students were able to get a proper college education. Because of this HBCU institutions will always hold a high place in our hearts and culture; but one should be allowed to appreciate that fact without being a ‘traitor’ for not attending an all-black university.

With several family members who attended HBCU’s the push to attend one was a passionate and forcefully, yet loving, one.                             

Growing up on movies like Spike Lee’s film ‘School Daze’ and constant family discussions, the college experience at an HBCU honestly seems like a transformative rite of passage.

After spending a few weeks silently deliberating the topic I asked a few of my black friends their opinions on HBCU’s.

Because we all got into HBCU’s and choose to attend FIU, a Predominately White Institutions, I asked whether they felt like they belonged here. I inquired about what influenced their decision to come here and if they regret it.

We spent hours talking about what we imagined our alternative lives would be like at an HBCU and I found I wasn’t the only one who put major thought into this before the conversation occurred.

It seems as though some of us who don’t attend an HBCU are left curious and wondering if it would have brought us closer to our blackness.

As an attendee of what would be classified as a PWI, I often feel like I am missing out on a lot.

From the legendary HBCU Battle of the Bands to the Divine Nine (the National Pan-Hellenic Council of nine historically Black Greek frats and sororities), unfortunately, there are some distinct key differences things you can only find at an HBCU.

It seems as though it has an enlightening ‘right of passage’ that I can only experience through videos on social media. Luckily there are ways to experience both, even if it is just a little bit.

By befriending people that attend HBCU’s you would be able to visit them and live some of the experiences.     

If you honestly feel as though you are missing out and chose the wrong environment to attend school at, switch schools.

Don’t let social media fool you because the unspoken truth is not every black person will fit in or feel at home an HBCU. Don’t do attend for the parties or the stigmas surrounding the environment.

If you legitimately feel as though it will make you happy and improve your life make the switch. Or you could even wait it out and switch when you get to grad school.       


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo retrieved from FIU flickr.

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