Earlier in the semester, a student asked if white students were allowed to attend HBCUs. I think I chimed in and said “yes, and they are welcomed.” Several years ago, I had heard that it was mandatory for HBCUs to recruit students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. This article supports that notion. The article also raises some controversial elements of an ongoing conversation regarding white inclusion on HBCU campuses. If you have the time, read the article (Click Here). For those of you short on time, I will provide a few key opinions mentioned in the article:
Statements from Black students at an HBCU:
“I think that it is a learning experience for both cultures to blend at a majority black institution and therefore I fully support white attendance at Howard and all other HBCUs. I think white students at Howard can bring new opinions to the area and institution and receive many good lessons as well…However, I hope that the majority of HBCUs always remain predominantly black and carry on the traditions, culture, and legacy they were created for.”
“I think a white person attending an HBCU is a positive thing and fosters a couple of different perspectives. One, I think it gives white students a chance to be a minority and therefore the ability to be more sympathetic to minorities in society.”
Statements from White students attending a HBCU:
“I would only suggest it to another white person if I knew they had a strong self-esteem and were outgoing enough to make friends easily,” she said in an interview. “Being the minority is something “white people” are not used to.”
“As a school, I love it and I love the people. I really enjoy being unique and for that reason I appreciate my experience,” she said. “I feel as though you have a bit more notoriety being so different at a place like this. I think that I truly learned one hundred times more in terms of life and culture than I ever would have at a predominantly white university. It has been a blessing and a growing experience.”
What are your reactions to the opinions expressed in the article?