As a third-generation HBCU graduate, I am deeply disturbed and angered to learn about the threats sent to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country this week — just as we began to celebrate Black History Month.
I am a proud alumna of Spelman College, and my grandmother never would have earned a Master’s from Columbia Teachers College in 1947 had it not been for the education she first received at Winston-Salem State University. She planted the seeds for my sister and I, and we were both proud to continue our family legacy, attending Spelman College and both earning doctorates.
HBCUs are a powerful part of Black history — and thus, a part of our shared American history — both because of the opportunities that they afforded Black people when higher education was often out of our reach, as well as the communities they build that continue to span generations and state lines.
It is critical that we protect the history and legacies of generations to come. As we face ongoing and new challenges to racial equity in our country, all of us have a role to play in confronting hatred that seeks to threaten our lived experiences.
Each of us has the power to put an end to this type of bigotry and speak our truth.
I invite HBCU grads to share their name, HBCU attended, and how its impact has made a generational and long-lasting difference in your life. If you didn’t attend a HBCU, you can still stand with us and show your support. We are living testaments to the power of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and they are needed now more than ever.
Darienne Hudson, Ed.D
President and CEO
United Way for Southeastern Michigan
Spelman College, C’00