This post is not to start a debate about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) vs. (Predominately White Institutions) PWIs. I feel like that argument has been beaten in the ground
, spit on and burned. Anyway I decided to write this post to big up HBCU’s (mine in particular) since they have been getting such negative press lately.
I remember as a high school senior I was torn between what schools I wanted to apply to. I had superb grades and participated in lots of extracurricular activities. I also had decent SAT scores. I had my mind set on attending a HBCU. My neighborhood consisted of mostly minorities. My high school was about 98% African American. So in my mind I saw no other option. Then my guidance counsel stepped in. She suggested that I think about applying to upper tier schools since I was smart and talented enough to get accepted (she really pressed Ivy league schools). In the end I applied to the University of MD, Howard University, North Carolina A&T, Temple University, George Washington University, Hampton University and the University of MD Eastern Shore (UMES). I got full academic scholarships to all of them with the exception of NC A&T (partial). My counselor was upset I didn’t apply to Princeton. lol.
So now to my AP US History teacher, Mr. Shabazz. He was probably my favorite high school teacher. He really inspired me. He made us memorize the poems Excuses and Invictus and then recite it in front of the class. He was an alumnus of Hampton University and member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Shabazz took me on a trip to Hampton University and on the way down he explained that I should go to Hampton so I could follow in the rich tradition of great scholars that went to Hampton. He also explained to me that Sigma was the only way to go
right?. When he found out my top two choices were Hampton and UMES, he was like why would I want to go start my own tradition when I could be one of many in a long line of great scholars. What he didn’t realize was that his argument was pushing me towards UMES.
So in the end I decided to attend the University of MD Eastern Shore. I’m so glad that I decided to go to UMES. I had the time of my life at UMES. I became a man there and it helped shape me into who I am today. I’ve also met lifelong friends there. Shout out to Club2300 (I wonder if we still have our Blackplanet page w/ the campus dimes of the week).
I’m an advocate for HBCU’s and I urge anyone who feels like they would benefit from going should. I have never regretted not going to a higher tier school because I know once I earn my other degrees, my potential employers won’t really care where I received my bachelor’s degree. I also feel like I received a high quality education. In my opinion no matter how good
apparently the school you went to, it won’t matter if you don’t have an aptitude to learn.