1. "HBCUs are only party schools"
Unfortunately any PBI (PREDOMINATELY Black Institution) carries this stigma. Schools such as MIT and Princeton offer an extraordinary social life. From colossal parties to popping night clubs, they have it all. Yet you never hear parents or counselors deterring students from attending these prestigious institutions because of the type of party reputation it has. In many, if not all, colleges and universities will have this type of "party atmosphere." It is up to you to decide if you want to embrace the partying life or not.
2. "HBCU graduates are unsuccessful"
This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. Despite the low retention rates, HBCUs cultivate some of the brightest, creative and talented minds in the country. Some of the notable alumni from HBCUs include Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. aka "Common". Aside from his music career, Common is also an actor, starring in movies such as "Just Wright" and the critically acclaimed civil rights movie "Selma"' for which he also co-wrote the Oscar-winning song "Glory. Common also stared in the NBC TV special The Wiz Live!, an updated version of the original play starring African-American icons such as Michael Jackson AND Diana Ross. Common is also set to star in the 2016 film Suicide Squad.
Reverend Jesse Jackson, the civil rights activist often adjudged as one of the most important black leaders in the nation, started his college career at the University of Illinois, but not before transferring to and graduating from North Carolina A&T (HBCU) in 1964. During the 1980s, he achieved wide fame as a politician, as well as becoming a well-known spokesman for civil rights issues. In 1980 for example, Jackson mediated in a firefighters' strike. in 1984 and 1988 Rev. Jackson sought out the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Despite losing the nomination in both instances, Rev. Jackson paved the way for our current President Barack Obama to proudly become the first African-American President in the history of the United States of America.
So you see, despite the jaded opinions of others, HBCU graduates go on to be political leaders and world changers, impacting and reforming the human condition in the United States of America. So next time someone discredits any HBCU, remind them of the lineage that you are coming from.
3. "An all black environment is limiting"
Finally, this statement is untrue. It is extremely liberating to find yourself in a situation where you are no longer the minority, but the majority. Where you are no longer a "black person" but just a "person". You are now a family. You no longer question if you received a fair grade because of your race as race is no longer a factor. You uncover a wide array of people of color who are successful, which is in contrast to how minorities are depicted, especially African-Americans, in the media, for example, criminals, comedians, rap stars and athletes. At an HBCU, you find yourself surrounded by professional and intelligent people of color, professors, deans, administrators, scholars, etc. The African-American community is not limited to greatness in just the areas the media shines its blinding lights on, and this becomes inherently 100 times clearer on any HBCU campus. HBCUs enhance the educational experience of their students by not only teaching the standard European-based curriculum but also Black history, which also has often been painfully deficient in students' studies, especially in the southern states.
Remember before attending your HBCU, make sure to do some research on your school's history and its alumni. Doing so will make you appreciate the existence of these schools and will surely make you proud enough to shout LOUD and clear "I LOVE MY HBCU" !
Lead Image Credit: YMCA Black College Tour via Flickr Creative Commons