Destination: Southern University and A&M
Ms. Andrea Brew is a librarian, author, and HBCU graduate. Her love for HBCUs, especially her alma mater, Southern University A&M College, inspired her to write her spell-binding children’s book, ‘Twas The Night Before Bayou Classic. As described by Andrea, many students from low socioeconomic backgrounds had little to no knowledge of HBCUs. As a former elementary school educator she witnessed first hand the lack of knowledge students had about the history and legacy of the first negro colleges. Andrea recalls a reading event at her school that caused her immediate action. She witnessed a group of undergraduate students from a PWI (predominantly white institutions) read out loud a children’s book to her students about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After the story ended her students were asked where they wanted to attend college. Many of the students yelled with excitement, “ULL” and “LSU” However, none of the students named the other state and private schools in the state of Louisiana. The lack of diversity in their answers sadden Andrea as she did not hear colleges such as Southern, Grambling, Dillard or Xavier, which all are colleges or universities in the state of Louisiana. This was the defining moment for Andrea as she decided to write a story that would plainly remind us of where we’ve come from and where we are going. ‘Twas The Night Before Bayou Classic tells the story of Southern University A& M College and Grambling State University. As the eve of the Bayou Classic arrives, many Southern Jaguars and Grambling Tigers are filled with anticipation as they are filled with the spirits of our ancestors. ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic is a magical expression of the excitement that fills the bayou as two rival teams fight to win the title of Bayou Classic Champions. Since 1932 the bayou has been split as two HBCUs fight to be known as champions. The game itself has turned into a weekend of black nostalgia as the two schools celebrate music, education and the advancement of the African American race.
To purchase a copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic visit, www.andreabrew.com
To learn more about the 88 year legacy of the Bayou Classic, visit www.mybayouclassic.com
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) were formed during a time when equal educational opportunities were not given. Since the establishment of the first HBCU in 1837 (Cheyney University) HBCU’s are still an integral part of obtaining higher education. HBCU’s are a source of great pride in the African American community, as they provide all students (despite color and gender) with the skills needed to serve within their communities, while developing their interests and talents into successful domestic and internationally careers.
There are currently over 100 HBCU’s in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Subscribe and read the HBCU Digest as they provide formative information on the state of HBCU’s as well as educational and fundraising events.
Currently, there are a number of organizations that are promoting, marketing, and providing funding to preserve all Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Discover the organizations within your state to find out more information about how you can contribute to preserving the jewels of educational attainment, which has educated 40% of African Americans in Congress, 50% of professors at P.W.I’s, 40% of engineers in the U.S. as well as 50% of lawyers and 80% of judges. There are also national campaigns such as: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. (HBCU For Life), Allstate (Ever Rising), The Tom Joyner Foundation, Roland Martin (HBCU Giving Day) and HBCU Campaign Fund.
If you would like to find out more about the history and progression of HBCU’s, please watch Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
With popular majors such as business, psychology, biological sciences and biomedical sciences, HBCUs continue to provide educational equality, while providing a diverse classroom that empowers economical and culture change.
At an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) a young adult steps out of the shadows and becomes the majority instead of the minority. Students come as they are, but leave as the person they aspire to be. Students find others who are young, black and gifted, as they find their voice and develop their leadership skills.
Below are a list of resources to help you expand your knowledge on HBCUs as well as resources on how to pay for your educational dreams.
Common Black College App. Com, allows graduating juniors and seniors to apply to 53 HBCUs for a one time application fee of $35.00. Using the motto “Get EDUcated”, the site is dedicated to exposing the rich culture of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to a generation of men and women who aspire to continue the legacy of soulful traditions. Robert Manson, founder of Common Black College Application, understands the importance of seeking higher education at an HBCU. The first generation college student, used the power of higher education to break the cycle of poverty within his family and now seeks to help others to break the cycle of poverty through education. EDU,Incorporated, gives students the opportunity to have educational choices as well as educational funding as they pursue higher education.
Visit commonblackcollegeapp.com, to learn more about their purpose and scholarships they offer to graduating seniors and juniors.
Debunking Myths: HBCUs Are For Blacks Only.
Contrary to opinions and or beliefs, Historically Black Colleges and Universities are not just for African American students. Although HBCUs were founded with segregationist intent, HBCUs have been transformed to welcome all cultures as they continue to be the pillar of intellectual, scholarly, social and political change within all communities. Over the past ten years, HBCUs have seen an increase in non African American students attending and graduating from HBCUs. With a four percent increase of Asian and Latino students and a ten percent increase in Caucasian students, why are non African American students drawn to HBCUs?
Many non African American students do not see HBCUs as a “black space” they see it as a place of strong intellectual growth as they are taught by the top professors with in their chosen field. Others see it as a teachable moment as they learn about a culture that has been imitated for centuries. While providing intellectual and social lesson on diversity, HBCUs have the power to debunk stereotypes and build cultural bridges of change and empathy.
Provided by the LA Times, listen to why students (African American and non African American) chose to attend a Historical “Better” College and University.
Homecoming at Beyonce University
World renowned artist Beyonce Knowles- Carter, released Homecoming. A film which documented her artistic creativity, as she highlighted the culture, pride, and history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Her performance gained world wide attention as many did not know the significance, nor the impact of HBCUs on this country.
The 137 minute film, is a testament to the rhythmic sounds of college bands, soul stepping fraternities and sororities, as well as graceful majorette style movements that can only be done by dancers at HBCUs. With the slogan, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” HBCUs continue to create thinkers, poets, leaders, scientist who serve and motivate others to take action within their community and this world.
Thank you, Mrs. Carter for exposing HBCUs acoustic sounds and culture to the world. Our sound is only a small portion of the impression we continue to leave on this world. The legacy of HBCUs continue to thrive as students, leaders (and now artist) from all over the world flock to the rich cultures of tradition, sensational sounds and school pride.
Will you be next to attend a Historically Better College and University?
In Louisiana there are seven HBCU’s: Dillard University, Southern University (Baton Rouge), Southern University Law Center, Southern University New Orleans, Southern University Shreveport, Grambling State University and Xavier University. Of the seven HBCUs in Louisiana, Dillard University is the oldest and ranks second in the nation for African American physics graduates. Xavier University of Louisiana also ranks among the top HBCUs in the nation. Currently Xavier ranks third behind Spelman College and Howard University. Xavier University also ranks second in sending African American graduates to medical school.
Read more about the top ranking HBCUs across the United States with the US News Report: Top HBCU’s in the Country including the top ten HBCUs which also describes the graduation rate for the past six years, overall ranking as well as the undergraduate enrollment.
“We got here today because of so many people who toiled and sweat and bled and died for us — people like our parents and grandparents and all those who came before them, people who never dreamed of getting a college education themselves, but who worked, and saved, and sacrificed so that we could be here today. We owe them.“
– Michelle Obama, Dillard University 2014 Commencement