I really do feel sorry for the overall college experience of black students who attended predominantly white institutions (PWIs) for undergraduate compared to the black college experience, even historically black colleges and universities or HBCUs — and there is nothing like it. I’m not the only one who thinks that this belief window is true, and I imagine that life at one of the “racist” white colleges in the country must have been fatiguing (only because you are a tiny, small black minority on a predominantly white campus) and is not interesting, especially if you heard through the grapevine about one of these schools and the screams to high heavens by its black students about the want to have an all-black resident hall. These students who just happened to be black simply could have just went to an HBCU.
“Am I the only one that [sic] look PWI black students and feel sorry for they [sic] college experience like how did y’all do it #HBCUProud😂😂,” wrote a Facebook user in a post. He is the inspiration of this shaming (yes, I said it) of the overall experience of black students attending one of the country’s PWIs for undergraduate. And thus we see that a funny debate, of course, in the comments section about whether life as an undergraduate at a PWI for 4-years — and in so doing you waste some of the best years of your life — is worthwhile or not was created to humor us all.
For example, take another Facebook user who had commented on the post, defending their PWI experience:
“Hang out with all the Black, Latinx, Asian, Arab and LGBT people. And I had sooo much fun,” the post reads. It was another attempt by black students at PWIs to try HBCU students again, resulting in the creator of the post, an alumnus of historically black Central State University, responding “yeah but to learn about your blackness in this world I couldn’t replace it loved it,” referring to the black college experience. Another Facebook user chimed in, saying “I agree. Kicked it at the black culture center, worked for the black alumni program, hung with my other D9 peeps and double majored in AA studies so I had amazing black faculty and staff. I did a jazz dance program by a professor who had been apart of Alvin Ailey, met hundreds upon hundreds of other black students, professors, friends and mentors. In fact my school has the alpha chapter for a black fraternity so I would say we have a rich Black history. #IndianaUniversity.”
She added: “you might not be able to see this video but if you can, this is my PWI school. It’s definitely not an HBCU by any means but do know we did have fun. This is black homecoming, which is during regular homecoming..we just do our own thing. All black alumni come back and we have a blast.”
We tried to see the link cited on the post to no avail.
Finally, a third Facebook user defending their stripes of PWI proudness wrote this: “You do know there are black students at PWI? Don’t you? Please don’t feel sorry for me. I received a great education and was admitted to a great Medical school. I also met some life-long African American friends in both undergraduate school and medical school. Your comments are pedestrian and show limited insight.”
Excuses: tools of the incompetent, and those who used them seldom amount to anything. These are what the responses to the original post on the topic are. And thus, making out HBCUs to be better than what they already are, which is historic and beloved by many worldwide, knocking down yourselves and your own experience at a PWI by default.
Safe spaces like the 107 HBCUs in the country are important. They are needed. Do you think that we (HBCU alumni and students) do not think that these colleges shine but know that they are not gold? That is, we do not expect them to be like the elite colleges in the country, and HBCUs matter, partly because these schools graduate a significant amount of the country’s black lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, and entrepreneurs and partly because there is really nothing like the black college experience.
The problem is that by forever making out your PWI campus life to be like that at an HBCU like one of those defenders mentioned above probably tried it. She was going to do it again with her hinted video probably showing black students at PWIs and their foolish sense of black pride on campus. This is we are not going to do — deny the black college experience. [ABC] College, who is historically a predominately white institution is not an HBCU. It never will be one considering the second Morrill Act of 1890. And that is okay. There is nothing like the HBCU experience, the last cultural jewels black people have left in this country, for a reason. All things have a purpose, and black colleges matter today more than ever. Forget the gossip.