For Black PWI students who get hyped by attending Black Student Union Events and begin claiming they attend an “unofficial HBCU”: A Crash Course to fix your stupidity.

want to start this “rant” if you will with a very clear disclaimer: I am not here to care about nor coddle your feelings on the topic. This work will be served regardless. Let’s continue.

Earlier this week, I had the displeasure of coming across the tweet above for a project called “Blacks at PWIs” being created by a Clark Atlanta student. Latrell Phillips went over to Georgia State and Georgia Tech to speak with their black students; the first student speaks on why her school, Georgia State is an unofficial HBCU, or a HWBU — Historically White Black University…
Both sadly and hilariously, this isn’t the first time HBCU students have come across the weird dichotomy of Black Students at Predominately White Institutions claiming the title of attending a Historically Black College, while also slandering actual HBCUs to proclaim why their school is great. How exactly does that work? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but that isn’t exactly what’s happening here.

In my quick recollection of Black Students attending PWIs but claiming their school is just like an HBCU, in the last 5 years I can think of Towson University, UNC — Chapel Hill, University of Houston, and now Georgia State & Georgia Tech.

So with those students — and black students at other PWIs — making those comparisons in mind, here is a crash course to fix their stupid.

What Does the ‘HB’ in HBCU mean?

Towson has the nerve to say they’re the first PWI to become an HBCU on their wiki.

Here is an idea, regardless of whatever school you’ve attended, go to google, and do a brief search on ‘First black student to attend (insert school name here). If you uncover a date or a year that your school integrated, go have a seat somewhere. Historically Black Colleges and Universities are any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans. Many PWIs didn’t integrate their campuses until the 1950s.

In short: If your school ain’t let Black folks in to educate them from day one, you don’t attend an HBCU.

Your School’s BSU doesn’t stand for Black Student University.

I’m a fan of Black Student Unions. I think that many of them do really good work on PWI campuses creating a sense of unity and a bond among the Black students that attend. But that begs a question: Why would your school need a Black Student Union? Maybe it’s because your school wasn’t made with you in mind, and a club/organization came around so you could feel welcome? I’d say it would be a good idea to find out which HBCUs, have Black Student Unions. Of course, it’s safe to say there is no need for a the Black Student Union at a school that was created with people that look like you and has similar experiences to you in mind.

How can you claim the HBCU title, while slandering HBCUs?

HBCUNCHow exactly is your school an HBCU? What are you claiming as the criteria? If you take away the Black Greekdom & Black Student Union Created events, what exactly gives you the feel that you attend an HBCU? Does your PWI have the negative characteristics you believe are exclusive to black schools too? To claim your PWI is an HBCU while expressing disparaging remarks about actual HBCUs is the equivalent to Rachel Dolezal talking about what’s wrong with Black women.

This is not a post to slander or talk badly about PWIs. I’m a fan of people, especially Black people, gaining an education in any form. Those of us that graduated from HBCUs are very protective of our institutions, as we should be. People often don’t understand what the HBCU experience is that makes it unique to our institutions. You will never hear an HBCU student say their school is like a PWI or an unofficial PWI. Student populations don’t matter; Georgia State having a predominately black student body doesn’t make it an HBCU any more than West Virginia State University’s predominately white student body make it a PWI. It’s deeper than demographics, it’s deeper than the turn ups.

Be proud of your school, your education, your experience without belittling or trying to change the narrative of the experiences of others. At this point, your views are the result of your own choice to be stupid. Do better, it’s for yours and everyone’s betterment.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s