I am a senior political science major, African studies minor at the illustrious Howard University. Originally, I had planned to go to Campbell University back home in North Carolina. I remember I had given my housing deposit to Campbell already to start my college journey as Campbell Camell when my friend group at the time had all gotten into Howard. I remember I visited Howard one time during my junior year of high school and I really loved it and I started to allow myself to think I could go to or make it. Long story short I ended up taking my housing deposit back from Campbell and giving it to Howard. It has been a crazy ride at ole HU but I don't regret my decision It's truly a unique experience unlike any other. If you are considering going to an HBCU or know someone who is, these are the pros of going to an HBCU:
- Education that is culturally relevant
Many HBCU’s offer education that is culturally relevant. We discuss issues such as colorism, the African diaspora, natural hair, and self-love. Monday I'm going to hear about King Ezana and the Axum empire, Tuesday my professor is gonna be getting me riled up about Colin Kaepernick, and Wednesday we will be talking about why Beyonce is influential to Black women. Not to say that Black students at PWIs don’t have these conversations, but I do believe that they are few and far between. Also, for Black students at a PWI, these conversations may take place at the Black student union when, at an HBCU, we are the black student union and these conversations happen when we see fit.
When I first came to Howard, I couldn't grasp the idea that Howard is diverse. I thought to myself, how can an all black school consider themselves diverse everybody is black? As I grew, I began to realize that Howard is diverse, essentially, because the students and faculty come from all across the diaspora. I've met Korean students, Afro-Cubans, Persians, Jamaicans, Sudanese etc.
3. There is safety in numbers
Going to an HBCU, the threat of racial stereotyping and the stress of being the one black kid out of 20,000 white kids is nonexistent. I have been able to cultivate a space where I feel comfortable in my blackness with people who look like me and think similarly to me even though we didn't necessarily grow up the same way; we share a bond through our history.
4. Black excellence
Being able to be taught by some of the greatest thinkers, philosophers, doctors, lawyers, and activists that HBCUs have produced is inspiring. We walk among giants and it pushes you to want to be great as well.
Many HBCUs have a family-like atmosphere. Your professors become your parents and grandparents. These professors really help mold you and guide you, but will curse you out if you step out of line. There are close relationships among the student body because many come from similar backgrounds and circumstances. Your classmates really become your brothers and sisters. These type of connections have helped me to feel more connected to the Black experience. Also, many people who go to HBCUs are super connected to other alumni and- let's face it- alumni know the struggle is real, so they are going to hold you down. At HBCUs, your network is your net worth.
6. Rich History
The history is very rich at many HBCUs. They were founded at a time when PWIs would not open their doors for people of color. I know, when I graduate, I'll have more than a degree. I'll have a love for service, a deeper understanding of self and the world around me, and an appreciation for the giants who paved the way for me as well as a responsibility to pave the way for those coming behind me.
7. We show up and show out
The turn up at HBCUs is unreal. We show up and show out. Step shows, the marching bands, and various panels on black love are evidence that the social scene at HBCUs is a unique experience in itself. HBCUs are known to be “party schools,” but it’s only a party school if you're at the parties.
8. Dress to impress
10. There's no place on Earth like an HBCU
There's no place on earth that will teach you to love yourself and Black people like an HBCU.