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Can you share some lesser-known facts about HBCUs?

As I'm exploring my college options, HBCUs have caught my eye because of their cultural significance and unique environments. I'd love to learn some cool or lesser-known facts about HBCUs that I might not find in the usual brochures or info sessions. Maybe some traditions, historical milestones, or alumni contributions that stand out?

7 months ago

I'm excited to hear about your interest in HBCUs! Their distinct culture is really something special that my child, who is currently attending one, absolutely loves. Something you might not know is that the first HBCUs were established before the Civil War, with Cheyney University of Pennsylvania being the oldest, founded in 1837. Many HBCUs were founded after the Civil War, with the express purpose of providing education to African Americans, which was not accessible elsewhere at the time due to segregation laws.

Another fun fact is regarding homecomings at HBCUs—they are legendary! Think of them as a family reunion, meeting with alumni, current students, and guests. It's a week filled with events, music, food, and spirited step shows, with an exuberance that's hard to match elsewhere. The Battle of the Bands is particularly a highlight, where school bands compete in a musical showcase that's as much about showmanship as it is musicianship.

In terms of alumni contributions, many HBCUs can boast of incredible graduates who have made significant impacts in various fields. For instance, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice, graduated from Howard University. And did you know that Martin Luther King Jr. attended Morehouse College? HBCU alumni also include a wide range of luminaries in arts, sciences, politics, and more—from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, a Howard alumna, to NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, an alumna of West Virginia State. Hopefully, these little-known facts will enrich your understanding of HBCUs and their place in American history!

7 months ago

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