From Black Voices — I remember going on a campus tour of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, as a bright eyed, inquisitive 18-year-old girl in 1998. As I listened to the tour guide extol the virtues of attending the prestigious institution, the calls of young men and women cheering excitedly caught my attention.

Gazing past beautiful trees and outstanding architectural structures, I saw the young men of Clark-Atlanta University’s Omega Psi Phi chapter stepping passionately, while throngs of students – many with dreadlocks, some wearing African dashikis, all smiling and grooving – looked on with pride and a palpable sense of community.

It was then I realized that I was giving up my childhood dream of the Ivy League for the Ebony League. I was home.

However, based on a 2009 report by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund – an organization that provides scholarships and resources to almost half of the nation’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities – the proportion of Asian,Hispanic, and multi-ethnic students enrolled in HBCUs has jumped from 6% to 8% from 1986 to 2006.

In short: ‘Home’ is undergoing a drastic renovation.

While many white and multi-ethnic students have a wide array of reasons for enrolling in an HBCU – ranging from more career opportunities upon graduation to a desire to experience a more diverse, holistic, educational experience – there is still an innate, often justified, hesitation felt by many members of the African-American community to embrace this trend.

study done by Dr. Ivory A. Toldson and Aviella Snitman revealed that problems related to discrepancies between education and attainment depend on two key factors: (a) higher paying occupations are more commonly held among White people, even when controlling for education; and (b) the lack of education increases the chances that a Black person will be unemployed or live in poverty.

As a result, an African-American person with some college has a greater chance of living in poverty than a White person who did not complete high school. Similarly, White people with master’s degrees are more likely to live above middle class than Black people with doctorate degrees.

(Continue Reading @ Black Voices …)

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  • MP

    I agree that this is not a drastic increase. I just think they should focus on recruiting other brown skinned minorities and underprivileged or ethnic whites for their quotas. Maybe they’d be more respectful and part of the campus community. That not standing for the anthem rubbed me the wrong way.

  • S.

    WOW. This article is very timely…

    I’m tired of seeing and hearing from ignorant people who are shocked to see Black people in mass populations and it’s PATHETIC that most Americans have never even HEARD of HBCUs let alone know what it stands for!

    I was recently watching the North Carolina A&T perform the “Bed Intruder” song on YouTube and became irritated by the sheer amount of ignorance in the comments section… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3UsvLyu3N0&feature=related

    My sister actually works at an HBCU as an International Student Recruiter and I think it’s great, in fact more than great. Non-Black students going to HBCUs is a win-win situation. Non-blacks learning about the African American experience while being in a some-what “normal” environment will help make our society more tolerant while integrating the south more

  • Of Course

    @ Kam

    I really have to disagree with part of your comment. Historically, HBCUs were exclusive especially to black people themselves. Howard used to have a paper bag test where if you weren’t lighter or as light as the paper bag you were not allowed in. Talk about self hate right?!

  • AnonyMiss

    2% is hardly DRASTIC. I think it would be nice for more non-blacks to attend these universities. Not to replace us but to join us and help these institutions gain higher credibility.

  • Tai

    Wow my friends and I were just discussing this topic the other day! I think its awesome that more non-blacks are attending HBCUs! I never understood why one would go to a college with mostly blacks, when the workforce is every diverse. I choose a VERY diverse college for that reason: so that I can become used to dealing with ppl who do not have the same social norms, so that I can learn about them, and they learn about me. There is noting wrong with going to and HBCU, I understand the purpose and I guess to each his/her own. *shrugs*