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School Daze: 4 Reasons Why HBCU’s are Better Than Wherever You Went (Unless You Went to an HBCU)

harkness-hallOver the past few years, newspapers and magazines have been informing the world that enrollment at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) has been declining rapidly since the 70s and 80s. Some question the usefulness of these Black bastions of higher education, if not altogether claiming that the education is second rate.

Everybody that’s gone to an HBCU has experienced some major issue that could have caused cardiac arrest from the revokation of scholarships (over and over), the lack of housing, or just other random non-sense, mostly administration based. And for those reasons some people think that some HBCU’s need to close.

I’m of a different train of thought. You see, I not only think HBCU’s are necessary, but I’d wager that the education received at an HBCU (in its entirety) is better than the education received at any major or Ivy league institution.

Yeah, I said it.

F*ck Harvard. Morehouse trumps all. And for the record, I attended a major-state, nationally renowned university for graduate school, so I’m very well versed in both circles.

But Panama, how could you possibly think that the education you receive at Texas Southern University is better than UT-Austin? That makes no sense at all.

I’m gonna learn ya. And you know, this goes for white people too. I’m not saying that white people should overrun our beloved HBCU’s, but I think the education they’d get would trump the education at these other schools as well. Let’s get educated, shall we? Yes, let’s.

1) In short, I know more Black people than you do (if you went to a white school).

This cannot be stressed enough. I have a vast network of ninjas at my disposal at all times…and further, ninjas that can read. A lot of people I know that went to white schools graduate and move to some new city where they have to meet all the professional Black people unless they move back home. It’s usually easier if you’re in a fraternity or sorority, but what if you aren’t? Who wants to join the Urban League strictly to meet new people of color? Not I says the sexxy one. Lucky for me, I don’t have too. I know them all and can find them anywhere like Creative Source.

2) You learn about real responsibility.

Hmm…how do I explain this one. I lost my scholarship three times while I was at Morehouse. Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year. I was placed on academic probation once. Mind you, none of this was actually my fault. I never received a grade lower than a B the whole time I was there***. But the administration simply lost my shit. As in, lost my scholarship papers and lost some of my grades. So what does a young Black male who’s about to lose his potential livelihood do? He whips out the scholarship papers that he carries with him EVERYWHERE and shows them to the Dean, who promptly pressed a button on the computer and problem solved.

I learned to keep EVERY piece of paper I received with official letterhead on it. I still have a note from a professor that says “hi” on it just in case she tries to say she never said “hi” to me. If that isn’t responsibility, I don’t know what is.

3) You might not think so, but I got a real taste of diversity training.

People think that being at an HBCU is a lot like being at a white school in terms of just being around a whole bunch of people of the same race. If ever there was a bad assumption. The class divide lives on at HBCU’s. On my dorm hall alone were at least 3 children of millionaires. In fact, I didn’t even know I was poor until I got to college. But here’s the thing, being Black means I already know how to deal with white people in some regard. I mean, if we want to eat, live, and work in America, you have to be able to deal with white people. So that was in the books. I learned how to deal with folks who had money or were well-connected in society, etc.

4) The women are just plain finer at HBCU’s than at other schools.

No, that doesn’t really make for a better education but it does make for a better quality of life…which (aha!) does make for a better education. If you feel better, you’re more inclined to be happier and it’s easier to enjoy subject matter when you’re happy. That is science and cannot be disputed.  In essence, finer women cause men to step up their game which bodes well later on in life for women so they don’t have to deal with so many loser dudes spitting lines like, “what’s your sign?”

That right there is life education.

So good people of VSB, am I right?  Or am I right?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3

Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

    ive always said that if i didnt play basketball, i would have gone to a hbcu (probably howard). when you subtract athletics, i really cant think of one notable inherent advantage of attending a predominately white institution.

    actually, nevermind. i can think of one.

    for those attempting to make corporate waves in the northeast, mid-atlantic, or west coast, i think attending an hbcu might bring a (undeserved) negative stigma. this is probably one of the reasons why the vast majority of people i know with hbcu undergraduate degrees chose to attend pwi’s for grad school.

    • Honey Bee

      @The Champ,

      “i think attending an hbcu might bring a (undeserved) negative stigma.”

      yep

      • http://kasondral.blogspot.com K-swiss

        @Honey Bee, That is SOO not true.

        I attended a black college for UG. I didn’t attend a Howard or a Spellmen either. I attended good old Norfolk State for Computer Engineering. Upon graduating I had MULTIPLE job offers from big companies. I settled on IBM. I made more money starting at IBM than my friend who started with me and attended MIT! So, that is bullish – excuse my french.

        My job was in lilly white Allentown, Pa. so I’m not sure where the stats came from regarding this negative stigma. I’ve never experienced any issues.

    • Spelman Gem

      @The Champ,

      this is probably one of the reasons why the vast majority of people i know with hbcu undergraduate degrees chose to attend pwi’s for grad school.

      that and there’s only so much colored ppl running an institution of higher learning foolishness a person can stand!!! i had a wonderful experience i wouldn’t trade for the world (the WORLD craig!!) but i mean damn. the bald-headed game playing hoodrat turned registrar office worker buck has to stop somewhere. i’m not corporate or tryna be, but i just couldn’t play pigmentally-enhanced politics past undergrad. no. and sir.

      • Spelman Gem

        @Spelman Gem,

        actually i take that “that” back (i misread your statement initially). plenty of Fortune 500 companies flock to Spelman and Morehouse trying to recruit these well educated brothas and sistas for internships and later for jobes. most of my classmates who didn’t go to law school or med school are at these very companies now making BIG bucks, and many of whom are going to get their MBAs so they can make even more money. i believe the same to be true for the likes of Howard and Hampton as well.

        now i can’t speak for all HBCU’s becuz it’s likely Calhoun C. Tubbs A&M isn’t exactly on the radar for producing the next Ben Carson. but then again, ya never know…

        • http://ThinkPrettySmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

          @Spelman Gem, you are correct. The same is true for Howard.

          *I’m not glad…I went to Howard U…I’m so glad…I went to Howard U…Singing glory hallelujah…I’m so glad!

          • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

            @Ms. Smart,
            Hampton

          • PoeticJusticeBison

            @Ms. Smart,

            That does not even sound right…

            It’s I am so glad I go to Howard U, and not HAMPTON lol

            just kidding!

        • Roc Diddy

          @Spelman Gem, I agree that because white cooperations are looking to diversify their employee base (for what ever reason) there are converging on HBCU’s for talent. I attended FAMU (Florida A&M) and our business school is noted for the corporations that recruit from us and I have very few friends if any who have received their MBA from FAMU and is not happy with the decision made, education received, or job procured.

          • http://www.mysixcents.wordpress.com klysha

            @Roc Diddy, Go Rattlers!

            and yes corporations (and government agencies since that’s what I happen to work for) definitely converge on HBCU campuses such as FAMU looking for talent to help them diversify.

      • bittersweet’s baby

        @Spelman Gem,
        “pigmentally-enhanced politics”?

        Luvs it!

    • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com blackberry molasses playing hooky from work

      @The Champ,

      for those attempting to make corporate waves in the northeast, mid-atlantic, or west coast, i think attending an hbcu might bring a (undeserved) negative stigma. this is probably one of the reasons why the vast majority of people i know with hbcu undergraduate degrees chose to attend pwi’s for grad school.

      Champ had some late night toast, I see.

      Ding! You are correct sir.

      Nothing against my HBCU compadres (because for the longest, my dream was to go to Hampton) but in the NE, HR reps are still pretty f*cked up in the gourd about seeing an HBCU on a resume, no matter how qualified the candidate. And I’m not lying. I have HEARD a HR director at a multinational based in NYC (the job that had me dry heaving in the shower and a complete wreck) say she has a ‘pile’ for ‘those’ resumes.

      Its just like that experiment that was conducted where they presented identically qualified candiate resumes to HR people, but some had ‘stereotypically black’ names. If you haven’t read this study, it is disturbing:

      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_2_48/ai_97873146/

      • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

        @blackberry molasses playing hooky from work,

        Yeah, the northeast is still pretty stank acting (at least in my field) about not only HBCUs, but pretty much any school outside of the top 25 US News & World Report list or whatever it’s called. They’re getting better though. And Im noticing more of the older 2520s know and respect Howard, Morehouse, Spelman

      • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

        @blackberry molasses playing hooky from work,
        why was hampton ya dream school

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

          @BLUNTBLAZER,

          Because I was 17. Nuff said.

    • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

      @The Champ,

      “i really cant think of one notable inherent advantage of attending a predominately white institution.”

      I can think of five! financial aid, financial aid, financial aid, financial aid and Dylan….wait, what we were talking about???

      Ah yes. Those HBCUs aint givin up no loot! Unless your alternative was a similarly paltry-coffers-having-ass school, like say, NYU I’d say stick with the PWI’s. My alma mater (is that what it’s called?) is slowly but surely erasing loans from the packages of kids whose parents make working class dough. Now that’s change I can believe in. :)

      • Happy Meal

        @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,
        I beg to differ dear. THe good ole HU (Howard, that is, paid my entire way, including books, housing and food) Georgetown offered me what? $5k in LOANS!

        • Smiley Face

          @Happy Meal,

          Yeah for real..I was about to say..My education was HEAVILY discounted, lol. I only owed 10K in loans. On the flip side UMBC didn’t offer my fiance not nan penny..luckily his dad started saving money for his education when he was born so was straight.

        • http://cookinwitgrease.com Chasdizz

          @Happy Meal,
          well…that’s more of a Georgetown/big name thing. if the scholarships are the same as when i glanced at HU, you probably had to keep your GPA up and all that crazy stuff.

          instead i get 20k a year (which still doesnt cover my tuition btw) to just be me learn, no strings attached.

          if there was an HBCU known for producing top notch engineers i maybe would have gone tho.

          • Happy Meal

            @Chasdizz,
            Umn no offense, but I don’t see what’s wrong with getting decent grades…isn’t that what youre supposed to be striving for?

            I definitely don’t knock the money just to be here hustle though…congrats.

            And, finally, using G-town was just one example of how all the other schools that accepted me failed to offer a reasonable aid package (HU was the only HBCU I applied to); had I chosen to attend one of those schools my parents and Uncle Sam would have financed it, but I have less of a financial burden now because of my choice, and given the way the economy is I’m just thanking my lucky stars.

          • kendeezy

            @Chasdizz,
            if there was an HBCU known for producing top notch engineers i maybe would have gone tho.

            NC A&T!!! Produces more Black Engineers in the USA than any other university … Quite a few of the Engineers I know – are Aggies!

            Wouldn’t trade my daze at Clark for anything – all of the above is true and more. Never understood why the registration process had to be so janky year after year after year – tears were shed… phone bills were run up … despair, anxiety. * flashbacks *

            All in all – resilience, perseverance, tenacity, problem solving and oodles of patience are just a few of the skills I mastered in the AUC.

            • http://lizburr.com Liz

              @kendeezy, I think chasdizz meant top engineers, not top black engineers. there’s no qualifier there.

          • http://cookinwitgrease.com Chasdizz

            @Happy Meal, lol my grades comment was a joke…merely a statement saying that my scholarships are not based on grades. i strive for greatness when i feel like it.

            if you have good grades and standardized test scores HBCUs, or at least HU i can’t speak for all since i wasn’t looking at all, will pay for school for you, as they would have for me….but i don’t know anybody at howard getting “need-based aid.”

          • msnikel

            @Chasdizz,
            Morgan State n Bmore produces a lot of well versed Engineers thats what they are known for and they are an HBCU

        • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

          @Happy Meal,

          my sister received a free ride to HU, too. or should I say the real HU….the Mecca.

          • Happy Meal

            @Chasdizz,
            Touche’. But at a place like Howard, that would be a problem cuz I’d say at least half that attended with me came from lower income backgrounds and would have required need based aid…gotta draw the line somewhere.

            That said, I don’t know of ANYONE, Int’l students included who weren’t getting some kinda money towards their tuition (not including loans).

          • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

            @Happy Meal,

            Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. The wealthy HBCU alums dont have as good a track record of putting back into the endowment as my school had. Throw in more middle class to broke kids and that paper is getting stretched thin. NYU has a similar problem plus the cost of housing is bananas so its not an HBCU problem.

      • Spelman Gem

        @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

        yeah man, a BIG problem with HBCUs is the funds they can offer students. fortunately for HU, they are federally funded so they can afford to give their students full rides. many private HBCUs, like SC and MC, have low endowments and often can’t break any bread until after you get there. most of my scholarships came during my freshman year. and thank God i was scientifically inclined starting in high school becuz i was able to have enough money to cover most of my 1st year’s expenses. this Spelman woman had/s ZERO loans.

      • http://www.museacdonline.com pgh muse

        @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

        HMPF! I wish somebody would erase my students loans. Booosheet!

        • msnikel

          @pgh muse, I GO TO NCCU ONTHE TEACH SCHOLARSHIP LOANS ARE ERASED AS LONG AS I TEACH N NC AFTER I GRAD IM NOY COMPLAININ

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @Me fail english?, the runaway slave, shucks…every one of my boys came into morehouse with a scholarship. i wouldnt have gone if they weren’t footing the bill.

        and stingy? as an example…the year i came into morehouse, 1997…morehouse gave over 300 of the 900+ new brothas scholarships,ranging from full rides (room/board, fees) to full tuition scholarships.

        33%.

        of course, that’s nearly our 4 year graduate rate too but that’s neither here nor there.

        • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

          @Panama Jackson and ‘nem,

          Touche’ and shet. That was really the only thing holding me back from encouraging my neices to go HBCU. I think the network of ppl you’ll actually be inclined to network with (as opposed to my school full of ppl I mainly have no interest in keepin in touch with) makes HBCUs a good look.

        • Miss Patterson

          @Panama Jackson, tell me about it. the year my boy graduated from Morehouse (1996), the dude in front of him got a tap on the shoulder during the graduation procession to step out of line. all because of…you guessed it- MONEY!

          i could go on, but when i talk about my hbcu experience it makes me angry and then terribly depressed. it’s friday. i need a party. and where in the wide, wide world of sports are my pgh vsb-ers??? and don’t tell me it’s the rain. ever heard of a snatch-back?

          • MizThickaDenThick

            @Miss Patterson,
            Are you talkin bout the pony-tails? Or maybe that just a ATL thang…

          • Miss Patterson

            @Miss Patterson, i am talking about ponytails. and yes, that’s definitely an atl thang.

          • Spelman Gem

            @Miss Patterson,

            girrrrrrl that rain kept me in my apt this morning. wasn’t until it stopped that i mosey’d on down to my lab lol.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @The Champ, for those attempting to make corporate waves in the northeast, mid-atlantic, or west coast, i think attending an hbcu might bring a (undeserved) negative stigma. this is probably one of the reasons why the vast majority of people i know with hbcu undergraduate degrees chose to attend pwi’s for grad school.

      this could be school specific but not one of you can name me a top corporate firm in america, northeast or otherwise, that doesnt have a morehouse man there. not one. these places specifically come to morehouse to recruit. i’d wager that howard and spelman are as represented as well (spelman definitely does it way bigger on the medical side). admittedly morehouse/spelman aren’t your typical hbcu (howard either)…

      • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

        @Panama Jackson,

        Maybe they came to Morehouse to recruit to fill their “Black upwardly mobile” quota.

        *shots fired*

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Luvvie, even if thats that case…better us than some other guy. lol. fact is they come there. who gives a sh*t why. and b/c of it, we’re everywhere.

          and everybody knows it.

    • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

      @The Champ,

      “when you subtract athletics, i really cant think of one notable inherent advantage of attending a predominately white institution.

      actually, nevermind. i can think of one. ”

      2520 frat parties? ;)

      • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

        @Cheekie,

        “Blunts & Forties” 4eva!!!

        • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

          @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

          “Blunts & Forties” 4eva!!!

          Don’t forget “Boats and Hoes”!

      • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

        @Cheekie,
        i will say thid about my experience at Stanford…the 2520 frat parties were great. seriously, where else can you go to indulge in open and free underage drinking an debauchery? well, there are plenty of places at an HBCU you can go to, as well. but the frat parties, from SAE to Kappa Sigma, to the Tri-Delta sorority parties were always banging.

        • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

          @N.I.A. naturally,

          “seriously, where else can you go to indulge in open and free underage drinking an debauchery”

          And to add to this, “…without cops endlessly harrassing them just for being in a large group of the same race”.

          Seriously, though, we had a full-out 2520 greeks vs Black greeks war in my Sociology class because of the harrassment and discrimination Black greeks faced. Cops DID harrass them much more, but the 2520s would argue that the cops harrassed them just as much. One black sista yelled out, “That’s a dayum LIE” so loud, she silenced the entire campus. It was brutal. She made him STFU and mumble to himself though.

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

            @Cheekie,
            he couldn’t say anything b/c he knew she was right. it’s definitely unfortunate….

        • OnyxHamptonian

          @N.I.A. naturally,

          @Cheekie,
          i will say thid about my experience at Stanford…the 2520 frat parties were great. seriously, where else can you go to indulge in open and free underage drinking an debauchery? well, there are plenty of places at an HBCU you can go to, as well. but the frat parties, from SAE to Kappa Sigma, to the Tri-Delta sorority parties were always banging.

          At Hampton University I recieved an education for life… My major is Sociology but when I graduate, I’ll be more polished than you can imagine.

          I’ve been a summer intern in a huge law firm where they love HBCU graduates (namely Hampton, Howard, & SpelHouse) for this reason:
          “We know that to be on time is to be late,” that business casual means slacks & Cole Haans, not just jeans & Sperry’s, and we can handle a little hazing like it ain’t shit.

          Further more if the attitude at your place of business is that HBCU’s offer 2nd rate educations, you may want to delve deeper and ask what they are saying about the capabilities of Black teachers, and even more what they think about how competent you are as a Black employee.

          Okay, I’m done going off now.

          • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

            @OnyxHamptonian,
            “Further more if the attitude at your place of business is that HBCU’s offer 2nd rate educations, you may want to delve deeper and ask what they are saying about the capabilities of Black teachers…”

            Tis true. There seems to be latent racism in this notion. However, since I assume most ppl of ALL races to be racist its not smthg that keeps me up at night.

      • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

        @Cheekie,

        “Rooms” Parties
        Mello Jello Nights
        After hours
        Crush Parties
        SLOPE DAY!!!!!!

        Gawd, I was a drunkard.

    • http://ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Big Man

      @The Champ,

      Don’t want to piggyback too much, but I’ve written several blog posts on this topic if anyone cares to check them out:
      ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com/search?q=hbcu

      I will say that Howard University provided me with a wonderful college experience that I doubt I would have gotten anywhere else. I played sports and thought about a PWI for a hot second, but decided it was better to go the HBCU route.

      People really don’t realize how amazing it feels to be a black person surrounded by other black people doing mostly positive things. Black folks challenging each other, but also hanging out and chilling with out having to be minorities. It’s an incredible thing.

      • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

        @Big Man,

        “People really don’t realize how amazing it feels to be a black person surrounded by other black people doing mostly positive things. Black folks challenging each other, but also hanging out and chilling with out having to be minorities. It’s an incredible thing.”

        This is very true. I do wanna add that though HBCUs give you a GREAT opportunity to experience this, it’s not the only opportunity. But yeah, the profound effect it has is significant and poignant. There is the “bubbly” feeling you get from being around Black support, Black love, black anything positive. It’s a unique feeling…

    • Lakisha

      I attend an HBCU, from the most part yes it mostly to the administration that is bad of it. The traditional White school have problems as well as the black school but it don’t get talked about as much as the black schools do. HBCU’S give students the opportunity to go College and they work with the students most of the traditional white school don’t. From my prescriptive HBCU’S is how most of the blacks make it the corporate word and have these good jobs. HBCU’S teach you how to go into the real world. HBCU’S is the foundation of the black students.

  • Honey Bee

    i think you might be right, and i went to an ivy. :(

    i can honestly say, i don’t think i know enough ‘educated’ black ppl, but i’m disabled, so maybe that’s a function of that. i don’t know enough ppl, period. (don’t feel bad for me, i got a man, and i don’t like ppl in general)

    also, it would have def been helpful to have a few more black administrators, just so it wouldn’t feel like, maybe, just maybe, a few of the ‘issues’ you were having were because you were black.

    (i feel like this is really long for no reason)

    • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com blackberry molasses playing hooky from work

      @Honey Bee,

      Hey Ivy Sis! Which one?

    • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

      @Honey Bee,

      That wasn’t long at all and I agree with everything you said, except that I’m not disabled. So I really have no excuse. The colored faces at PWI’s, mine in particular were so few and far between that if you couldnt stand hanging with just one person you may very well wind up distancing yourself from half your class. Also, even when you get along with everyone, they don’t spread out so far. I suspect we werent very diverse (geographically) to begin with so most of my fellow alum are still on the east coast. There’s a few out in Cali.

  • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

    btw, first and sh*t.

    ***i’ve always wanted to say that***

    • Honey Bee

      @The Champ,

      i almost said it, but i knew, by the time i finished typing, i would be late :(

    • superwoman

      @The Champ, hah! and how you ragged on me when i did the ‘i’m first!’ victory e-dance!!!

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      @The Champ,

      LMAO! Just for this, I wish ur toast pure awesomeness.

  • Spelman Gem

    you are RIGHT, Peej!! and i stand firm by the fact that our institutions are the best in the nation…

    SPELHOUSE RULES!!!!!! *does cartwheel* yay!!

    • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

      @Spelman Gem,
      WhooHoo!!! Go Spelman!! Go Morehouse!! Go Spelman!! Go Morehouse!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Spelman Gem, thanks.

      and of course i’m right. i went to morehouse.

      • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

        @Panama Jackson,
        do you own a button up turtle neck sweater?

        • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

          @BLUNTBLAZER,

          *dead* He owns 2. And they each have a patch on the left chest (the right chest).

          I bet he also owns a Gordon Gartrell shirt too

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @Luvvie, the only gordon gartrell i own is the one you made and tried to sell off as a polo.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @BLUNTBLAZER, god i hope not.

        • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

          @BLUNTBLAZER,

          How the hell do you button a turtleneck? I demand pics or more ppl.

    • Miss Patterson

      @Spelman Gem,
      “spelhouse”? see. where’s the love? massah done won this battle. divide and conquer.

  • http://www.blacknbougie.com OneChele

    First off, why ya callin’ out UT? Longhorns for life, son!

    Secondly are you right? I would have to say… no. I would counter your “I know more black people” with the fact that since I was at UT and out of 48,000 we were only 3% black, most of us hung TIGHT. And when the folks from Southern and U of H and San Jac State rolled through for a step show we held court and made friends so happy were we to be amongst others “like us”.

    There is no greater responsibility learned than when some snotty Nobel-Prize winning astronomist from Germany gives you an F due to his Third Reich complex. It took my retention of every note, every test, every paper and the entire Black Student Alliance to get me a C and the h&^% outta that class. And I don’t have enough room to talk about how many fights I had with the Bursar over my scholarship funds. I’m still waiting on that last check (I graduated over 10 years ago)!

    You learned about diversity by not being in an ethnically diverse place? You lost me on that one. I had a 2520 chick for freshman roommate whose daddy owns half the beef we eat today. Across the hall was a chica from a border town, next door was a Jewish princess and homegirl from 5th Ward Houston (think Jason’s Lyric) next to that. I can talk to anybody, anywhere, anytime.

    Though I didn’t agree with any of your listed points, I do agree that we need HBCUs. We still have so little of “our own” in this country, I’d hate to see something else fade away from neglect.

    • Spelman Gem

      @OneChele,

      You learned about diversity by not being in an ethnically diverse place? You lost me on that one.

      i think it’s sad our (and by “our” i mean black folk) definition of diversity is so limited. i had PLENTY of diversity at Spelman (and even Morehouse for that matter). granted, i didn’t share a dorm hall with anyone jewish or an anglo daughter of a beef big-wig. but i was classmates of students from japan (yes, more than ONE), various eastern european countries, not to mention students from many african, caribbean and south american countries. there were also some straight up american-born 2520s in my class (i think there were 3). our faculty was pretty diverse as well. even when my dad was at Howard for grad school (back in the ice age) he said he had plenty of 2520 classmates, which is odd for that time period.

      anyway i say ALL that to say, HBCUs are/can be very diverse — ethnically, socioecononimcally, etc.

      • Happy Meal

        @Spelman Gem,
        Major co-signage here!

      • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

        @Spelman Gem,

        co-sign Gem, 100%!

      • kendeezy

        yep – what she said :)!

      • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

        @Spelman Gem,
        naw hampton had prolly 10 white people in the whole school and half wern’t from the us

    • sexywinergirl

      @OneChele,

      HBCUs do have diversity. Whites, Asians and Latinos attend HBCUs as well as black people from all over the world. As much as black people share the same skin colour those who live down the street from us and across oceans from us are different in many respects. Having a predominantly black student population in no way indicates that there is a lack of ethnic diversity.

    • Omar

      @OneChele, “It took my retention of every note, every test, every paper and the entire Black Student Alliance to get me a C and the h&^% outta that class.”

      However at an HBCU if you had a professor, who grew up in a slum in Nigeria or lived through conflict and famine in Ethiopia, fail the whole class on a test or paper, none of these people could help you and none of your excuses or explanations matter because they’ve been through stuff you couldn’t believe.

      • Buxxy

        @Omar,

        Preach! ::does the holy ghost dance::

        Lord knows there is not Black Student Alliance to run to. Just you and a bunch of other students trying to figure out how to manage that F and take the class over…(if they are even offering the next semester).

      • http://blkbond.blogspot.com BlkBond

        @Omar,

        Oni-fade-ya!

        Wheeler Halls finest,

        Bond. BlkBond.

      • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

        @Omar,

        I went to a PWI and our BSA (black student alliance…if that was even the name of it…) was pretty toothless. I had plenty of racist, ignorant ish said to me and basically ignored it because I had no recourse. I get what you’re saying. I just dont think the minority PWI kids have been sheltered or learned less fortitude/responsibility or whatever it is Pan-Pan is getting at.

      • Spelman Gem

        @Omar,

        most of my black professors were my HARDEST professors. they took no mess, no excuses, and often made learning sometimes very unappealing. i mean, you give a black person a PhD and put them on a tenure track and watch how they act.

        but i dont blame them. that whole experience made me a soldier and just encouraged me to work hard to make sure i earned their not-easily-given respect.

        • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

          @Spelman Gem,

          That’s true. My black profs at my PWI used to stay on my arse. I think that’s all institution cuz they’re scared of us skating thru and coming out lookin like an affirmative action case.

          • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

            @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

            “My black profs at my PWI used to stay on my arse.”

            This is too true.

          • Spelman Gem

            @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

            i do not disagree with you. i know black profs ERRYWHERE are hard @$$es. and rightly so — i don’t wanted to be HANDED anything!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @OneChele, You learned about diversity by not being in an ethnically diverse place?

      You know, I’ve always found the diversity argument to be an interesting one for a few reasons. 1) I went to a white school for grad school but made it a point to familiarize myself with the campus and be all over. The cliqueishness that I observed doesn’t necessarily breed diversity. In fact, it seems that most of the black folks hung together, the white folks, the asians, etc. Nothing wrong with that, people like being with folks they look like…but that brings me to 2) if you’re only diverse in numbers but there’s no interaction, how much diversity training did you really get?

      when everybody looks like you, you’re forced to learn who people really are and reach into the differences that brought you together in the first place. yeah you went to school with white people, but i KNOW black millionaires who were in that Our Kind of People book…

      i saw class stratification that i didnt even know really existed (i mean lower middle class and upper lower class are really the same thing). i went to high school with white folks and b/c i was in all the smart kid AP classes i knew a gang of them.

      but to date, i can only think of only like 2 white people’s homes i visited during my entire time in high school. i dont’ view diversity as being around different people. sh*t, you go to NY you’re around all kinds of different people, doesn’t mean you got diveristy training. getting to KNOW people of different backgrounds and stuff and learn from them is the type of diversity that’s gualitative.

      i dont know your personal story so that may be you. but just going to a PWI doesnt mean you got more diversity if you had all of 2 convos with other types of people and they’re only b/c of a class assignment. and that’s totally possible.

      • Spelman Gem

        @Panama Jackson,

        damn, Peej. you made me sooooooo proud of this whole comment. my fave 2 points you made tho….

        2) if you’re only diverse in numbers but there’s no interaction, how much diversity training did you really get?

        and…
        getting to KNOW people of different backgrounds and stuff and learn from them is the type of diversity that’s gualitative.

        puh-reeeeeeeech!!

      • http://www.mysixcents.wordpress.com klysha

        @Panama Jackson, Cosign….it’s amazing how much diversity there is within the black race….

        and one time for FAMU FAMU FAM G*T D%&M U Alright alright alright…..

        haven’t seen any other Rattler posters today so I had to represent.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @OneChele, There is no greater responsibility learned than when some snotty Nobel-Prize winning astronomist from Germany gives you an F due to his Third Reich complex.

      how about from a professor who looks like you and has been sitting where you’re sitting knowing full well that you aren’t living up to your potential and tells you about it on a daily basis because he can’t afford to let you be another Black person who slips thru the cracks b/c you were shucking and jiving. lets be real, some of these professors were worse than our parents since they come from our communities (though i had quite a few non-Black professors) and know a bullsh*tter when they see one. i got my card pulled numerous times for slacking. and i’d wager that i am who i am now b/c all of my Black professors attempted to put their foot in my ass at some point to make sure that i could go from just being Panama Jackson to Panama Muhf*ckin’.

      • Spelman Gem

        @Panama Jackson,

        i also had non-black professors reality check the hell outta me. they really wanted me to excel and help me push past the obstacles i was setting in front of myself.

    • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

      @OneChele,
      we used to go to old dominion and spread our HBCU blackness around.

  • Mark E. McFly

    My brotha you ab-soul-lutely correct. I’m currently attend NC A&T (AGGIE PRIDE!!!!) and all four of those reasons are true.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Mark E. McFly, word.life.

  • Docdj23

    I may not be first…but 6th ain’t bad…666666ttttttthhhhhhh! 1….9!

    But anywaz, I am attending my first and last HBCU (the great Meharry Medical College) after spending the last five years at an all white institution. All I can say is PRAISE GOD FOR HBCU’s. My children’s, children’s, children’s, illegitimate children’s, children’s, will all go to an HBCU…much love and respect to all the hard working people of our beloved HBCU.

    GOD bless America and NO place else!

    • overit.

      @Docdj23, GOD bless America and NO place else!

      rude, lol.

      • Spelman Gem

        @overit.,

        lmao rude indeed. but i LOVE it!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Docdj23, my kids will be attending Morehouse/Spelman…UNLESS…they’re athletes with outstanding earning potential for their god-given athletic talents.

      and then its D-I major school all day baby.

      • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

        @Panama Jackson,
        my son goin to state school so i can keep a eye on him

        • Spelman Gem

          @BLUNTBLAZER,

          LOL and SMH

          • http://lizburr.com Liz

            @Spelman Gem, i cosign this for any and every comment bluntblazer makes lol

    • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

      @Docdj23,

      GOD bless America and NO place else!

      To quote one of my favorite movies:

      “I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. “

      • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

        @BlackBerry Molasses,

        Bet they dont have Monty Python heads at those HSBCU’s….heh heh heh

        Please note: I’ve been trying to not type H-S-B-C-U all day and Im just tired of the backspacing!

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

          @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

          I’m mad late, but ur prally right. If it wasn’t for my PWI… no wait, I’d still be a Monty Python head because I’m a Brit.

          But we had full on Monty Python parties, and the Rocky Horror Party at Halloween was THE BIZ!! When else in my life was I going to wear a baby abino python as an accessory?

  • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

    I went to a PWI and I’m proud of it. I echo the same thoughts as my friend OneChele here, but I would also like to add that it depends on the field you’re in. If I would’ve graduated with the same degree from an HBCU to crack into the industry I’m in now, I would’ve been far, far, far behind. The university I did graduate from put me in one of the best positions possible.

    As far as knowing Black folks, I preach quality over quantity. Because the population was so low on our campus, we know each other. Well. So when a person gets a call from me, I don’t get a “Who?”, I get a “Yeah son, what do you need?” We pledged Token Phi Token and the brotherhood is strong.

    I will agree with you though, walking around a snowy campus in upstate NY did not do much for my “state of being”. Especially when all I saw were women wrapped up North Faces the size of sleeping bags. You couldn’t tell the White women, from the Latinas, from the Black women because they were all wrapped up like we were studying at University of Tehran.

    There’s pros and cons to both, but I will say this is a never-ending argument. I know because my cohort Slim Jackson did a similar post a couple weeks back – http://www.threewaystotakeit.com/hbcu-vs-pwi/

    Peace!

    • Spelman Gem

      @Seattle Washington,

      If I would’ve graduated with the same degree from an HBCU to crack into the industry I’m in now, I would’ve been far, far, far behind. The university I did graduate from put me in one of the best positions possible.

      how do you know?? i mean, i can completely understand wanting to go to a university that is KNOWN for the field in which you are trying to have a career in, but it seems as if your comment is implying that HBCUs aren’t even capable of teaching the necessary skills. i have plenty of friends who are smart and ambitious that went to HBCUs and are at the top of their game and were actually MORE prepared than their counterparts who went to PWIs. so i don’t at all buy this BS about HBCU education putting some one far far far behind in anything, quite honestly.

      ok, again, if it was “CCT A&M” that majors in mayhem and party walking, then maybe it’s a different story…

      • Smiley Face

        @Spelman Gem,

        You betta say it!!!

      • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

        @Spelman Gem,

        I think this perception comes from some not-so-smart alum who fly yalls banners high. I got the impression that really brilliant, dedicated people can excel at an HBCU on par with their Ivy counterparts. But the rank-and-file average student at an HBCU isnt being challenged like the average elite institution kid (which is not to say all PWI’s, cuz lord knows there’s plenty that should LOSE accreditation).

        I’ll give you a fr’instance. My boy who graduated IT was taking PRECALCULUS (gasp!!!) in his fourth year at Howard. WTF?! He may not have graduated but he actually walked that May (double gasp!!). At my school, you cant even “walk” onto campus as a Philosophy major if you didnt pass precal…by high school. And this fool was in a math intensive field.

        I’m sure most of the Howard computer guys are taking some sort of advanced analytics but stories like these aint good for yalls rep. And thats just one example I’ve personally known about.

        • Happy Meal

          @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,
          LOL he graduated cuz HU is serious bout non letting ninjas walk if you aint dot every eye and cross every tee.

          • Spelman Gem

            @Happy Meal,

            lol i thought the same thing. morehouse wont even let you WALK if you owe the library $0.02 (spelman is a little more lenient, as long as you have all your credits you can dawn a robe)

        • Spelman Gem

          @Me fail english?, the runaway slave,

          that’s ONE department tho. i’ve seen the curriculum for comp sci/IT at SC (and MC) and you can’t even minor without taking multiple high courses in math.

          i think even the avg student at many HBCUs can hold their own just as well as many PWI-educated students. hell, i know lots of dumb, squeaked under the radar, nit-witted Ivy leaguers. i mean hell, this country was still being run by one just 1 year ago. but does that make it fair to judge a whole group of institutions?? NO.

          • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

            @Spelman Gem,

            While I’m not sure how Dubya skated through Harvard and Yale (I think? sheesh!) I can say that it’s (the practice of letting dummies float on)not systemic on those campuses. Whereas if Pre-cal is even a course offering for Comp Sci/IT/whatever guy that’s more than just a few admins and profs helping out a handful of rich kids on the hush. That’s an publically and institutionally accepted practice of passing mediocrity.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Me fail english?, the runaway slave, while i don’t want to admit it, i do know that there are some hbcu’s where the educaiton the students are receiving isn’t necessarily up to par.

          i’ll ALSO give you a for instance (father forgive me, but i know what i’m doing). my junior year i decided to take a class at morris brown. i’d see the women over there so i figured i migh as well get me some up close and personal time. (i also took a million classes at spelman…i love the ladies). anyway, i signed up for French 405 or something…some top level french class (yes Panama speaks the language of love).

          i spoke more french than the professor.

          *end scene*

          • Me fail english?, the runaway slave

            @Panama Jackson,

            On another note, perhaps I should change my screenname cuz everytime yall reply to me, I swear ur calling me a runaway slave. I find this hurtful and offensive. Then I remember who put it up there…

            *proud Ivy grad and real Dumass material*

          • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

            @Panama Jackson,

            “yes Panama speaks the language of love”

            Naturally, since you’re le sexxy. (allegedly)

          • Spelman Gem

            @Panama Jackson,

            *pouring out a lil likka for the AUC school that was truly n*ggafied*

          • Miss Patterson

            @Panama Jackson, that sounds like the social psychology class i took where all of the tests were fill in the blank. i think it’s safe to say i’m going to have to pray hard on the college decision for my children.

      • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

        @Spelman Gem,

        I can confidently say that because when it came to communications, the HBCUs didn’t rank anywhere close to the PWI I went to – Syracuse University. One of the best, if not the best, universities for communications in the nation. Furthermore it has an accredited undergraduate program for the industry I’m working in now. Just the school name alone has opened doors for me, solidified connections and definitely has me in the position I’m in now.

        Now I’m not doubting that in other areas HBCUs compete and may even surpass their PWI counterparts. But in communications, they were severely lacking. So it only behooved me to attend a university that was one of the best, even if its population is predominately White.

        I would say that you cut slack for the other folks out there who made the same choice. It’s not our fault that the HBCUs weren’t top ranked for our fields of choice.

        Oh and I don’t know about CCT A&M, but I also graduated from the Cuse with a degree in All-Season Debauchery. Partying, after partying and after after partying in Arctic weather is harder than it looks.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Seattle Washington, yeah i don’t doubt some of this. I mean i still agree with everything i said but i can at least acknowledge that in some instances, it would behoove somebody to attend certain schools.

          but like you said, in your case thats probably just program specific. given what i do and who i work for, and my boys for that matter (everybody is pretty much highly highly successful in their given fields) and the beaucoup people i know who have gone to HBCU’s and then on to run sh*t, i almost think that it matters not what school you went to so much as your own personal ambition.

          and though Syracuse has opened doors for you and solidified your position, do you assume that you couldnt be in that position had you not gone to Syracuse? i’m more or less asking is it you or Syracuse that got you where you are? is it possible it miht have taken longer (no direct connect like with syracuse or something) but is it possible that you still would have ended up there…

          • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

            @Panama Jackson,

            Quite true. Syracuse gave me the opportunities, but without my ambition and potential (not being cocky) I wouldn’t be in the position I now have.

            However the circumstances, the numerous alumni that I met in my field and knowledge I got from Cuse got me here. Sure I could’ve gone to an HBCU or a lesser PWI for the experience, but then I would have to go to a grad school, spending additional money, and more importantly time, to get where I am now.

            So yeah, it would’ve definitely taken me longer to get where I am now if I hadn’t gone to my alma mater and because of my ambition, I’m not one for the waiting.

        • WordSmith

          @Seattle Washington,

          Feel you on this. I went to Maryland because of the college of journalism. Full stop. I was deciding between Syracuse and Maryland, and Maryland won out because of in-state tution (even though Syracuse practically threw money at me, but even all that only added up to about half the cost).

        • Spelman Gem

          @Seattle Washington,

          don’t get it twisted. i’m not saying going to an HBCU is ALWAYS going to give you an advantage in life. what i am saying, however, is that you don’t have to go to a top ranked school for a top ranked program to enter a field to be successful or make it big in said field.

          i’m not knocking anybody who goes to [insert PWI name here]. but i DEF do not tolerate ppl putting down HBCUs at the implication that they are inferior for x, y or z reasons.

          that’s all… GO PITT!!!

          • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

            @Spelman Gem,

            True, there are the stories of folks who didn’t do the well-traveled path to get where they are. However, don’t knock those who want to get the best education they could regardless of the population that the institution has. As I said to Panama earlier, it may get you where you want ultimately want to be quicker and easier. I don’t know many folks who willingly want to make their life harder. Besides masochists. But that’s another post unto itself.

            I don’t think HBCUs are inferior, just think they lack in certain areas. That’s any college. At the end of the day the student has to decide if that’s detrimental or not.

          • Spelman Gem

            don’t knock those who want to get the best education they could regardless of the population that the institution has.

            i dont lol

        • IVR

          @Seattle Washington, “Oh and I don’t know about CCT A&M, but I also graduated from the Cuse with a degree in All-Season Debauchery. Partying, after partying and after after partying in Arctic weather is harder than it looks.”

          Partying at Syracuse was no joke .. . we used to roadtrip all the way from Poughkeepsie . . . good times! That is all.

      • Miss Patterson

        @Spelman Gem, my alma mater didn’t even have career days or career counseling. if you wanted to find out about serious internships you had to walk your a$$ over to spelman or morehouse to get in on the goods, i.e. take several english courses at either of those institutions and read their job boards. smh.
        would it be wrong to start a smear campaign…wait, let me stop.

        • Spelman Gem

          @Miss Patterson,

          lol yeah your school needs prayer

          • Miss Patterson

            @Spelman Gem,
            and MONEY. Cosby and Oprah need to spread the love. b@stards.

    • http://cookinwitgrease.com Chasdizz

      @Seattle Washington, upstate ny? what school?

      • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

        @Chasdizz,

        Syracuse University

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Seattle Washington, you’re right, there are definitely pro’s and con’s to both, though i find that most folks fall into two camps on this debate:

      1) uber HBCU love; or
      2) saying why HBCU’s weren’t for them

      Very rarely do I find folks who have the same love and appreciation for their non-hbcu schools as we do. Could be our struggle was that much more significant on the life side, I don’t know. And that’s not to say that folks don’t love their non-hbcu schools…but having taught students from schools around the nation, the affinity folks have for their schools definitely seems stronger from hbcu’s.

      and it is a common and on-going debate. hell, i originally wrote a 2500 word version of this same post (i chopped this one down) over 3 years ago on my old site, where i specifically mentioned homecoming amongst other things (for the person who wondered why i didn’t mention homecoming).

      it is long as the f*ck though.

      http://jacksongtickle.com/2006/11/01/i-love-hbcus/

      • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

        @Panama Jackson,

        That’s a definite. You HBCU alums live and die by your alma maters. It’s evident in the discussions here.

        I will say though – you guys get a bit defensive when us PWI alums make mention of some fault at your school. I understand if its disrespectful, but if its a fact c’mon now… We all should realize that no university is perfect. Even the one you attended.

        With that said, GO CUSE!!!

        • Spelman Gem

          @Seattle Washington,

          lol please believe many of us HBCU alums know the MANY downfalls of our institutions. and i feel comfortable to speak for many of us when i say it’s annoying as hell for ppl to point them out as if their PWI was perfect with flawless students and education. it’s not a fair assumption for ANYBODY to make about ANY institution.

          as you said, each school has it’s pros and cons. and many of us still matriculate and love our schools regardless.

          • http://threewaystotakeit.com Seattle Washington

            @Spelman Gem,

            Feel like we all need to hug and sing “We Are the World” or some shit now.

            By the way, nice talking with ya.

  • sexywinergirl

    Yeah Champ you are correct!! HBCUs ROCK!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @sexywinergirl, yay.

  • eleeaune

    I’m at a PWI currently and though I hear great things about HBCUs (parties, entertainment) I also get the horror stories about everything from financial aid to housing and even the food (wtf?, lol). All from HBCU students).
    I don’t know if that’s what those people focused on or what but I think what type of degree you’re going for determines if an HBCU or a PWI was (is) better to attend.
    Just my two cents…

    • http://ThinkPrettySmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

      @eleeaune, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

      Aych-EWE!!!

      *singing…I DONE DONE…*

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @eleeaune, folks ain’t lying. though i assume things are different now. when i got to morehouse, we registered via phone and if somebody called you while you were trying to get yoru classes, and you hadnt saved…you lost all of your sh*t.

      and like i said, my scholarship was revoked 3 times. hell, i STILL carry around my scholarship paper.

      but, like ms. smart said, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger and iwouldnt trade in that experience. it was a small part of the greatest experience of my life.

      hell, life’s been all downhill since i graduated.