We’ve all seen or at least heard about the things that are taking place right now with regards to “45,” Besty Devos and higher education, and more specifically Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Like that fiasco that took place at the Bethune Cookman University commencement that had us all confused AF, like girl.
With that being said, situations like those and the one that I’m about to share, which took place at my job recently, is what inspired everything surrounding this post.
So there’s this event at work one day where this pretty well known company (that shall remain nameless) hosted a recruitment event. They set up this cool Hawaiian beach themed party with this huuuumooongous water slide, that had everybody in awe. I mean they had the tiki huts, the whole nine, and decided to invite the entire campus; faculty, staff, and students. Sounds super cool right?! So, I’m chatting with one of my friends at work about how the event’s really cool, but wondering why more students weren’t in attendance. Mind you, we have a very large number of students enrolled and we were left to wonder why more students didn’t show up.
Quick tidbit: My friend and I are both very proud alumni of a Historically Black College and/or University. Okay so back to the story. I’m like, “Wow, where are all the students. This event is sooooo cool!” I almost felt like we were more excited than the students, wishing we were back in college. Lol. I mean we start reminiscing and what not. We’re both like, “let this had been at one of OUR alma maters, it would’ve been stupid packed with Every. Single. Student from campus! We’re laughing, we’re agreeing, we’re homegirling, and hi-fiving, having a good ole time!
But apparently, unbeknownst to us, a co-worker of ours had been standing behind us pretty much ear hustling the whole conversation and decided to throw his two cents in. Now, let me provide you with this other little tidbit of information before I tell you what was said. He’s black and attended a PWI. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a Predominately White Institution. Nothing’s wrong with that whatsoever, but what came out of his mouth, was pretty much unnecessary. He says “Had it been at an HBCU, it would have been on dirt!” Then he walks off, as if he son’d us or something. Lol. But listen, do me a quick favor and insert ALLLL the confused faces in the world of emojis, right now, like no seriously. Because in my mind at that moment, I was totally confused. Like whaaa bruh??? Whaaaaaaaaa??? Who said that?? And where you get that information?? And why you think that??
But you know what? I’m super glad WE were both intelligent enough to know that some things don’t merit a response.
“When you even feeling it from your own…” -Solange
Listen, I take no issue with anyone who chose to attend a PWI. You chose what was best for you. But it’s unfortunate when people look down on HBCUs as though they’re beneath them, and it’s even worse when it’s from your own race. That’s that classic, “when you even feeling it from your own” energy Solange spoke of in her song F.U.B.U. I’m not knocking you if you didn’t attend an HBCU, but respect the narrative and the culture of why they were established and are imperative to the black community. And to those of us who attended an HBCU, know that you’re forever part of history. That’s major!!! And we, the HBCU community know what? We know that there is indeed nothing like an HBCU experience!!! We’re a family AND we’re the shit, simply put!!!
More importantly occurrences like these, the things that have been shared in the news, and even the occurrences that we don’t share (because I know y’all got stories too) are the spark and inspiration behind the movement and why I decided to coin the statement, RESPECT HBCUs. It feels as if to me, the establishment of Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been taken as a joke, when in fact they’ve meant so much more to many of us and molded a lot of us into the amazing women and men we are today.
Now listen, this isn’t just a movement for the HBCU community. It’s also for those of you that just get it, that get the narrative and the significance behind it, whether you attended an HBCU or not.
Through awareness, educating each other and those around us, RESPECT HBCUs upholds the pride and spirit of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and stands firm in supporting the narrative of why they were established. Now listen, this isn’t just a movement for the HBCU community. It’s also for those of you that just get it, that get the narrative and the significance behind it, whether you attended an HBCU or not. So join me on the movement and let’s educate and show the world why we RESPECT HBCUs.
You can also join the movement by making a statement in our RESPECT hbcUS Unisex T-shirt that’s available for pre-orders here. Pre-orders end a week from today, on June 21st and begin shipping out July 7th. Also, follow the RESPECT HBCUs movement on instagram @respecthbcus.
As always, thank you guys for taking time to share in this blog experience. Of course if you enjoyed this post, do me a huuuuge favor and share it. I would also looooove to hear some of your experiences surrounding this topic or if you just want to send some love in the comments section in support of the RESPECT HBCUs movement, we’ll receive that as well with open arms.
Until next time….