Looking At The History Of HBCU

HBCU stands for historically Black colleges and universities, it was created to serve the African American communities.

HBCU howard university
FACEBOOK Howard University

The majority of HBCUs are located in the southern parts of the USA, since the South made it harder for African-Americans to go to college by restricting access to established institutions. Due to the resilient Black community, it created a place where African Americans could attain education among people that looked like them, related to them, and had the same beliefs. This is among the all-important parts of Black history in America.

When making my transition into college, I knew that I wanted to attend an HBCU. Many of my peers and teachers didn’t know what an HBCU was, and I had the opportunity to educate them. Upon high school graduation, I was accepted into Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. The same college my ancestor Martin Luther King graduated from in 1948. Being able to say I was accepted into one of the 101 predominantly Black colleges meant that I would not have to worry about “acting black” in PWI (predominantly White institutions) located in New York. This is a timeline of important events that can better help you understand what an HBCU is and what it represents for Black people.


America's first HBCU

Cheyney University was established in Pennsylvania pre-Civil War. Thanks to the founder Richard Humphrey, a philanthropist and Virgin Islands native.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
Image by Cheyney University of Pennsylvania from Facebook

Shaw University

It was founded in North Carolina by Henry Martin Tupper, a Baptist minister. This was the first HBCU established after the Civil War. The college provided 4-year medical programs.

Shaw University


Morehouse College

It was established and founded by William Jefferson White who wanted to have a school based on Christian Baptist beliefs. Notable alumni, include: Martin Luther King, Spike Lee, Samuel L Jackson, and Herman Cain.


Morrill Act

The second Morrill Act was passed in many Confederate states. This act provided funding for many HBCU colleges to run correctly. It gave way for many more colleges to be established throughout the South.

Morrill act
Morrill act

Howard University

It created the first Greek-Letter sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha organized by all Black women. Some well-known members to mention are Kamala Harris, Coretta Scott King, and Maya Angelou.


Jewish individuals

When they fled Hitler’s totalitarian policies, many worked in several historically Black colleges.


Tennessee State University

The school’s marching band became the first HBCU band to perform at the Chicago Bears NFL game.


University of Virgin Islands

It’s the youngest HBCU.

University of Virgin Island
Image by University of Virgin Island from Facebook

Higher Education Act

It instituted direct federal grants to HBCUs to help support and run colleges.


Jimmy Carter

The 39th president signed an executive order to allocate resources and funding to strengthen public and private HBCUs.


Kamala Harris

United States Vice President graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science and economics.

kamala harris


Oprah Winfrey

The American mogul received her degree from Tennessee State University.

Oprah Winfrey


Bennet College

It became the first all-female HBCU to accept transgender women.


MacKenzie Scott

The American billionaire gives away 4.2 billion to Prairie View A&M University, Morgan State University, Winston-Salem State University, Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore. It has become the most significant donation to HBCUs.


MacKenzie Scott

Norfolk State and Texas Southern become the first HBCUs to win March Madness games in the same tournament.

Norfolk State University
FACEBOOK Norfolk State University
Malik Brizan-Reed

Content Editor Associate

Malik is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He loves vegan cuisine and roller skating. Writing about Caribbean culture and the countries he visited is a passion of his. It’s essential for him to inspire others through his art.

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