Graduating high school and finally getting that fresh start at college, hopefully at a place that will best fit you and your comfort zone? Have you ever considered going to an HBCU? What’s that you might ask? HBCU stands for “Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
HBCUs are institutions of higher education all around the US. However, what many don’t know is that HBCUs were created before the Civil Rights Act in 1964, with the intention of primarily serving the African American Society.
This was only due to the immense number of white institutions of higher-learning that had disqualified African Americans from enrollment during segregation. However, though HBCUs originally had been founded to educate black students, diversity has grown over time.
Riverview graduate Jessika Ward ’13 also graduated from an HBCU--Florida A&M University. Ward, a former Ram Page sports editor, was an award-winning journalist during college and was featured in a national PBS documentary called “Tell Them We Are Rising.” This documentary was all about the history and future of HBCU’s.
“My experience was awesome. A lot of local and national doors to journalism opened for me because I attended an HBCU.”
Some other HBCU’s around the country include West Virginia State University, Kentucky State University, Delaware State University, Fayetteville State University, and many more. HBCUs have a lot of wonderful programs and other opportunities to offer, like any other major university. Some HBCU libraries have a joint program alliance with Cornell University in which they promote digitization of HBCU collections. Some also offer online degree programs, intercollegiate sports, and more.
Ward urges that once a student knows what an Historically Black College and University is and what amazing opportunities it has to offer, he or she might find it to be time to consider looking into some around the area to see if they are of interest.
“Maybe you can be experience something just as amazing as I did,” Ward said.