ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Taking a lead from Dr. Wilsons statements, a Wall Street Journal editor named Jason L. Liley
wrote an editorial stating that HBCUs were a dismal failure and that Mr. Obama ought to use
the federal governments leverage to bring these schools under Wall Streets control. He went
further by stating that HBCUs should all become private and model themselves
after the University of Phoenix.
The Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs in the Age of Obama
By Jahi Issa, Ph.D.
For more than 100 years, HBCUs1 have educated African American leadership. Although the mission statements of most HBCUs do not state this fact, HBCUs grew out of the social disorder and aftermath of the American Civil Wara period which constitutionally brought millions of formerly enslaved Africans into citizenry in the United States. Similar to colleges and universities that were created for religious groups such as Catholics, Jews and for other immigrant groups, HBCUs were created in reaction to de facto marginalization created by a European American hostile society.2
Because of the efforts of the Civil Right Movement, HBCUs were finally recognized as important institutions and were giving special status for Federal funding. However, over the past few decades, HBCUs have been targeted as being too Black and many states are progressively trying to eliminate African Americans from these institutions that have served as a buffer zone for the Black middle class. Some HBCUs have and are going through hostile takeovers in order to turn them into White education facilities and thereby permanently eliminating the African American middle class.
African American Perform Better at HBCUs
Although over the years many have argued that HBCUs are redundant and irrelevant in todays post racial world, the fact remains that these intuitions of higher learning, according to the National Science Foundation, graduate more than 33% of all African Americans earning Bachelors and doctoral degrees, almost double that compared to African Americans attending predominately White schools.3 Furthermore, according to the Washington Post, the post racial world that many hoped for with the election of President Barack Obama may just be an illusion.4
Relying on a recent report from the Pew Research Centers Social & Demographic Trends, the Washington Post noted that the typical White household in 2009 had 20 times more wealth ($113,149) than the typical Black household ($5,677). Moreover, another report that was conducted by Brandeis University in May of 2010 and concluded that African American will never reach wealth parity with that of White Americans.5 Both reports note that African Americans with college degrees stand a better chance at edging out a decent life in the United States than those without degrees.
According to a 1977 study that was conducted under the leadership of Dr. Mary Francis Berry, in her capacity as the former Secretary of Education in the Carter Administration, primary reasons why HBCUs tended to be better equipped to prepare students for real world experience was because they offered:
credible models for aspiring Blacks
psycho-socially congenial settings in which blacks can develop
insurance against a potentially declining interest in the education of black folk
Furthermore, the report posits that the ultimate purpose of the HBCU is to represent the formal structures which nurture and stress racial ideology, pride and worth for Blacks. Consequently, they are what every racial and ethnic group is entitled to havea political, social and intellectual haven.6 The report mentioned above was recently vindicated in a study that was published in January of 2011. Three economists concluded that African Americans who attend HBCUs tend to perform better in the work force than African Americans who attend predominately White universities and colleges.7
The 1965 Higher Education Act and Title III: Federal Funding For African-Americans in Higher Education
One cannot discuss todays relevancy of HBCUs without mentioning the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Higher Education Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his Great Society program that sought to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education. Before the law was signed by President Johnson, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, an African-American Harlem Congressman named Adam Clayton Powell made an amendment that defined HBCUs as any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.8
The amendments also legalized the federal funding of HBCUs through the Higher Education Act of 1965 Title III program. Title III is the federal governing body which sets the standard for providing funding for HBCUs. Over the years Title III had provided billions of dollars to support African-American undergraduate, graduate programs, increasing African American participation in math and science, real estate acquisitions and strengthen HBCU endowments to name a few.9 In all, Title III has helped African American universities not only to increase their numbers in accredited degree programs across the country; it has also allowed many HBCUs to have a tremendous economic impact in the communities that they serve.
Economic Impact of HBCUs and the Origins of a New and Corrput Era
In 2005 the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an office within the U.S. Department of Education, published a report that documented the economic impact of HBCUs. Primarily, this study was introduced by President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama administration which sought to include the participation of private sector (corporations) into the governing bodies of HBCUs.10 The study found that more than 100 HBCUs had in 2001 an economic impact of almost 11 billion dollars in the communities that they served. For instance, schools such as Howard University total economic impact in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area was more than 600 million dollars. For smaller schools such as Delaware State University, their total economic impact was more than 150 million dollars. It must be noted that the economic impact also made a national impression.
Again, according to the National Science Foundation, HBCUs bestowed nearly 25% of all bachelor degrees earned by African Americans in 2001. In the areas of agriculture, biology, mathematics and the physical sciences, HBCUs accounted for more than 40 percent of all bachelor degrees earned by African-Americans.11 With this stated, it is easy to see why corporations would want a piece of the pie. Furthermore, if one is to evaluate the current lack of transparency on Wall Street, it is easy to see that Wall Streets collaboration with todays HBCUs could represent the end of African American higher education as we know it.
The Second Corporate Takeover
Although President Barack Obama HBCU Executive Order 13532 encourages private investment in HBCUs, research proves that corporate partnerships is not new to HBCUs, nor are their historic input solely motivated by financial gains.12 Not long after the end of reconstruction, Northern White capitalist sought extreme ways in which they could control the ebb and flow of African American education. This was done to curtail the rapid development of African American educational institutions immediately after the Civil War.
For instance, from 1865-1880 federal agents documented that there were thousands of African American schools operating throughout the South independent of White control. When northern White benevolent groups finally reached the South with mythical-preconceived notions that they were coming to civilize former wretched enslaved Africans, they were astonished to see that Africans Americans had already had established their own schools systems fully equipped with African American teachers. These schools full missions were self-determination and political control over the regions of the South in which they were the majority.13
The high level of African American political education created a problem for the nation after the Compromise of 1877. Since African Americans were no longer allowed to exercise political autonomy in the South, strategies were devised on the federal level to control the nature of their education. The federal government along with the corporate conglomerates in the North believed that the only way that they could ensure the continual flow of cheap labor in the South was to train African Americans in a way that they would not advocate for political control of their communities.
Furthermore, there was another important issue at playthat was African American competition with Whites for high skilled jobs. The solution was a new type of training for Southern African Americans called industrial education. This type of schooling served the purpose of supervising and training African American to be subservient to White interest.14 Schools such as Hampton, Tuskegee, and Delaware State were devised as the alternative to the African American independent schools that advocated self-determination after the Civil War. The corporate-handpicked spokesman for this new type of schooling was none other than Booker T. Washington.
One must remember that Washingtons entrance exam into Hampton University was sweeping the floor. The ultimate goal of Hampton was to control the emerging Black leadership of the Jim Crow South, and train African Americans in the corporate labor needs of the new South.15 The financial backing of Hampton University and what would later be Tuskegee was provided by White Northern corporations and philanthropy. This corporate-industrial style form of education continued to dominate Southern higher educational institutions long after the death of Booker T. Washington in 1915.16
The White House Initiative on HBCUs Encourages Corporate Collaboration
The current encroachment of private corporate input into the affairs of African American higher education could and will be disastrous. It would mean that African Americans will be forced back into the Jim Crow Era. A deliberate attempt to curtail educational advancements that was gained by the Civil Rights and Black Power era seems to be the main motivation. The White House Advisor on HBCUs, John Wilson, Jr., stated in April of 2010 HBCUs must not be seen as plaintiffs in the struggle for civil rights .17 Dr. Wilson, a graduate of Morehouse University, tends to forget that it was struggle for civil rights that literally allows him to serve President Barack Obama. The White House Initiative on HBCUs came into existence because of the plaintiff of the past.
Furthermore, Mr. Wilsons statement implies that African American should abandon their pursuit for full rights and self-interest. Taking a lead from Dr. Wilsons statements, a Wall Street Journal editor named Jason L. Liley wrote an editorial stating that HBCUs were a dismal failure and that Mr. Obama ought to use the federal governments leverage to bring these schools under Wall Streets control. He went further by stating that HBCUs should all become private and model themselves after the University of Phoenix.18
One month after Lileys editorial, a conservative from the Wall Street funded American Enterprise Institute also imputed on Wall Streets quest to control Black education. He ended his article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by stating that HBCUs should accordingly be encouraged to enroll more non-black students. The author mentioned nothing about White universities increasing African American enrollment. He also stated that some HBCUs, notably two in West Virginia (Bluefield State and West Virginia State University), are in fact no longer predominantly black but are still receiving special (HBCU) federal funding.19
Five months after the Chronicle of Higher Education essay appeared, the White House Advisor on HBCUs, John Wilson, Jr. was invited as the keynote speaker to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The title of his speech Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Albatross20 of Undignified Publicity conveyed that HBCU are historically cursed when it comes to publicity in White dominated media outlets. Moreover, the central thesis of his speech, although impressively constructed, was that HBCUs should jump on the corporate bandwagon by accepting funds from good corporate Samaritans such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.21
Black Colleges & White Cultural Hegemony: The Signs of the Future
Although the Higher Education Act of 1965 clearly states that an HBCU is a school whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, economist and scholar at American Enterprise Institute, Richard Vedder reminds us that there is a trend being shaped where HBCUs which formally had an African American majority student and faculty body now have White majority populations still receive federal funding geared for African Americans. These two schools are Bluefield State College and West Virginia State University. According to a May 19, 2000 CNN report, White enrollment at HBCUsis on the rise. Other schools such as Kentucky State University, Elizabeth City State University and Delaware State University are only a few schools that have a growing White and non-African American student and faculty population.
Furthermore, according to an August 17, 2011 Wall Street Journal article called Recruiters at Black Colleges Break from Tradition, HBCUs such as Tennessee State University, Delaware State University and Paul Quinn College are cited as no longer focusing exclusively on recruiting African Americans. The author of the article points out that Tennessee State Universitys Black enrollment has reduced to around 70 %, while Paul Quinn College Black enrollment has been predicted to fall from 94% to 85% for the Fall 2011 academic year.22
Many have asked the question if White enrollment at HBCUs represent a decrease in African American enrollment at the same schools. The year that CNN published its story, Blue field College African American faculty had dwindled to less than one percent from previous decades. The African American student enrollment had also decreased to less than ten percent. Nonetheless, research shows that when African American faculty at HBCUs is a majority, African American students tend to enroll at a higher percentage and they tend to be more productive in the work place once they graduate.
There seems to be a direct correlation between African American student enrollment and that of its faculty. In other words, if the African American faculty enrollment at HBCUs is low, African American students tend not to attend HBCUs. When this occurs, is an HBCU still an HBCU? In other words, can you have an HBCU without Black students and faculty? This is exactly the issue that American Enterprise Institute scholar Richard Vedder was raising in his essay in the Chronicle of Higher Learning. Why are HBCUs that are no longer Black in students or faculty population receiving federal monies geared toward African Americans? The federal government seems to believe that this trend represents the future for HBCUs.
1 Historically Black Colleges and Universities are institutions founded primary for African Americans.
2 The United States Department of Education, Record Group 441, National Archives and Records Administration, National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities, (1979). National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities was the precursor to the White House Initiative on HBCUs established by President Jimmy Carter in 1976 and signed into law in 1980.
3 Joan Burrelli and Alan Rapoport, The Role of HBCUs as Baccalaureate-Origin Institutions of Black S&E Doctorate Recipients, National Science Foundation Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, (2008).
4 Paul Taylor, Hard hit in recession, Blacks still hopeful, The Washington Post, July 28, 2011.
5 Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry and Paul Taylor, “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics: Twenty-to-One,” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends (26 July 2011)
6 National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities, The United States Department of Education, Black Colleges and Universities: An Essential Component of a Diverse System of Higher Education, p. 27. Although not widely known, Dr. Mary Frances Berry, when she was Assistant Secretary for Education, was responsible for convincing President Jimmy Carter to sign an executive order that brought about the White House Initiative on Historical Black Colleges and Universities. This was done as a result of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Struggle during the 1960-70s.
7 Gregory N. Price, William Spriggs and Omari H. Swinton, The Relative to Graduating from a Historically Black College/University: Propensity Score Matching Estimates from the National Sur vey of Black Americans, Review of Black Political Economy (2011) 38.
8 Higher Education Act of 1965, H.R. 621, 89th Cong., 1st Sess. (1965); Higher Education Act of 1965, S.673, 89th Cong., 1st Sess.(1965); Higher Education Act of 1965, Pub. L . No. 89-329 (1965); Vol. 111 Cong. Record (1965) 883, 978, 17367;
9 See the United States Department of Educations website on Title III and its specific programs for African- Americans and HBCUs: “Title II, Part B.: Strenthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions Program.” U.S. Department of Education.
10 The input of private sector or corporation into the governing affairs of HBCUs was first initiated by President George H. W. Bush in 1989. See The Presidents HBCU Board of Advisors Report: “Transition Ongoing: Building Capacity in Historical black Colleges and Universities through Participation in Federal Programs.” Annual Report to the President 2007.
11 The National Center for Educational Statistics: The Economic Impact of the Nations Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Department of Education. October 2006.
12 President Barack Obamas Executive Order 136532.
13 James D. Anderson, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935, (Chapel Hill, 1988), pp. 1-32.
14 Donald Spivey, Schooling for the New Slavery: Black Industrial Education, 1868-1915, ( Trenton, 2007) pp. 69-90.
15 It must be pointed out that Washington was vehemently opposed by a plethora of mainstream African American leaders.
16 Raymond Wolters, The New Negro on Campus: The Black College Rebellion of the 1920s (Princeton, 1975) p. 3-30. It must be pointed out that the corporate domination of these institutions were able to control the ebb and flow of African American education for more than seventy years.
17 The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 22, 2010.
18 Jason L. Riley, “Black Colleges Need a New Mission,” The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2010. It must be noted that a plethora of HBCU presidents denounced Rileys article. See The National Association of Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
19 Richard Vedder, Why Do We Have HBCUs? The Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 October 2010.
20 The word Albatross means an omen of bad luck, as well as a metaphor for a burden to be carried.
21 John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Albatross of Undignified Publicity, 21 March 2012. Several HBCUs have already announced their corporate collaborations. See entire speech.
22 Sue Shellenbarger, “Recruiters at Black Colleges Break from Tradition,” Wall Street Journal (17 August 2011).
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Jahi Issa is a pragmatic Pan Africanist/activist/scholar/humanitarian and Professor of Africana Studies and United States History. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Issa has engaged in more than 30 trips to various African countries and is the founder and president of Building Libraries for Africa.
In 2003, Dr. Issa served as a consultant for the W. E. B. Du Bois Center and Panafest Festival in Ghana, West Africa. He was also responsible for setting up a U.S. tour for the Du Bois centers Executive Director, Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, the son of Ghanas first president, Kwame Nkrumah.
While teaching at Elizabeth City State University, Dr. Issa organized a cultural festival centered on the oldest Civil War Monument dedicated to African Americans in the country. He was also the grassroots organizer for Obamas presidential campaign in North Eastern, North Carolina and was responsible for soliciting and setting up that regions first ever Presidential Campaign office.
Dr. Issa has worked for several United States Federal Agencies. He was a former Forrest Technician with the U.S. Forrest Service. He also served as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service and also served as an Archivist for the National Archives and Records Administration.
Dr. Issa has published several books and scholarly articles. He is the author of the Business Guide for Investing in Africa. He is also the co-author of the Origin of the Word Amen. Dr. Issas latest project is a study of grassroots political activist in Louisiana and is due to be published by Louisiana State University Press in 2012.
Dr. Issa received his Ph.D. from Howard University, his M.A. from Southern University, and his B.A. from Texas Southern University. He also attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Dr. Issa was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and currently teaches at Delaware State University.
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Established before 1964 with the Intention of Serving the Black Community
The Black College and University Act defined a historically Black college and university (HBCU) as one that existed before 1964 with a historic and contemporary mission of educating Blacks while being open to all. There are 103 HBCUs, located mainly in the Southeastern United States, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.
HBCUs are responsible for 22 percent of current bachelors degrees granted to Blacks. Among Blacks, 40 percent of all congressmen, 12.5 percent of CEOs, 40 percent of engineers, 50 percent of professors at non-HBCUs, 50 percent of lawyers and 80 percent of judges are HBCU graduates.
The top 21 undergraduate producers of Blacks with doctoral degrees are HBCUs. W.E.B. Dubois (Wilberforce), Ralph Ellison (Tuskegee), Martin Luther King, Jr. (Morehouse), Thurgood Marshall (Lincoln), Ruth Simmons (Dillard), and Oprah Winfrey (Tennessee State) headline a long list of famous HBCU alumni. Below is a complete list of HBCUs.Lists of Historical Black Colleges and Universities
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#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By William Watkins
William H. Watkins is subtle in his story of the white architects who developed Black education beginning in 1865, just at the end of the Civil War. Watkins shocks you with his scientific racism platform that he explains presented human difference as the rational for inequality and that it can be understood as an ideological and political issue (pg. 39). The reader senses a calm attitude about the author as he speaks of the philanthropists, beginning with John D. Rockefeller, Sr, who was most concerned about shaping the new industrial social order (pg. 133) than he was for providing a useful education. The Rockefeller group demonstrated how gift giving could shape education and public policy (pg. 134).
In their support of Black education, by 1964, the General Education Board (GEB) spent more than $3.2 million dollars in gifts to support Black education. This captivating book begins with a foreword written by Robin D.G. Kelley who reflects that he learned one lesson from Watkins, If we are to create new models of pedagogy and intellectual work and become architects of our own education, then we cannot simply repair the structures that have been passed down to us. We need to dismantle the old architecture so that we might begin anew (pg. xiii). Why dont the school reformers who mandate educational laws experience such an awakening?Review by AC Snow
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By Todd Vogel
In a segregated society in which minority writers and artists could find few ways to reach an audience, journalism gave them access to diverse U.S. communities. The original essays in this volume show how marginalized voices attempted to be heard in their day. The Black Press progresses chronologically from abolitionist newspapers to today’s Internet and reveals how the black press’s content and its very form changed with evolving historical conditions in America. The essays address the production, distribution, regulation, and reception of black journalism, illustrating a more textured public discourse, one that exchanges ideas not just within the black community, but also within the nation at large. The contributors demonstrate that African American journalists redefined class, restaged race and nationhood, and reset the terms of public conversation, providing a fuller understanding of the varied cultural battles fought throughout our country’s history. Dayton Library / Questia
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By O. Kwame Osei and Edited by Jahi Issa and Salim Faraji
I would like to thank Dr. Osei, and of course his editors, Dr. Issa, and Dr. Faraji, for this very competent extrapolation on the use of the word “Amen” in the world “religions” of today. . . . How did the word Amen become a sacred utterance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? Why does the word Amen appear as a proper noun in Revelations 3:14 and why does the sacred word appear in the Bible more than 60 times? Did you know that the Akan as well as other West African peoples are descendants of the Ancient Egyptians? Did you know that the African American spiritual “Amen” is a continuation of an ancient African hymn to the god Amen that can be found throughout Africa? This is a must read for all who are seeking truth.Amazon reviewer
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By Rodger Streitmatter
Little research exists on African-American women journalists, even in studies of the black press. To address this gap, Streitmatter presents eleven biographies of journalists from the early nineteenth century to the present.Journal of Women’s History
[Streitmatter] finds that their attraction to journalism cam from their desire to be advocates of racial reform, that they were courageous in the face of sexism and financial discrimination, and that they used education as their entry into journalism and subsequently received support from African-American male editors.Journal of Women’s History
An historical chronology of eleven interesting and determined black female journalists.Washington Times
Rodger Streitmatter is a journalist and cultural historian whose work explores how the media have helped to shape American culture. He is currently a professor in the School of Communication at American University and is the author of seven previous books.
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Edited by Charles L. Betsey
Beginning in the 1830s, public and private higher education institutions established to serve African-Americans operated in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Border States, and the states of the old Confederacy. Until recently the vast majority of people of African descent who received post-secondary education in the United States did so in historically black institutions. Spurred on by financial and accreditation issues, litigation to assure compliance with court decisions, equal higher education opportunity for all citizens, and the role of race in admissions decisions, interest in the role, accomplishments, and future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities has been renewed. This volume touches upon these issues. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are a diverse group of 105 institutions.
They vary in size from several hundred students to over 10,000. Prior to Brown v. Board of Education, 90 percent of African-American postsecondary students were enrolled in HBCUs. Currently the 105 HBCUs account for 3 percent of the nations educational institutions, but they graduate about one-quarter of African-Americans receiving college degrees. The competition that HBCUs currently face in attracting and educating African-American and other students presents both challenges and opportunities. Despite the fact that numerous studies have found that HBCUs are more effective at retaining and graduating African-American students than predominately white colleges, HBCUs have serious detractors.
Perhaps because of the increasing pressures on state governments to assure that public HBCUs receive comparable funding and provide programs that will attract a broader student population, several public HBCUs no longer serve primarily African-American students. There is reason to believe, and it is the opinion of several contributors to this book, that in the changing higher education environment HBCUs will not survive, particularly those that are financially weak. The contributors to this volume provide cutting-edge data as well as solid social analysis of this major concern in black life as well as American higher education as a whole.
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By James D. Anderson
James Anderson critically reinterprets the history of southern black education from Reconstruction to the Great Depression. By placing black schooling within a political, cultural, and economic context, he offers fresh insights into black commitment to education, the peculiar significance of Tuskegee Institute, and the conflicting goals of various philanthropic groups, among other matters. Initially, ex-slaves attempted to create an educational system that would support and extend their emancipation, but their children were pushed into a system of industrial education that presupposed black political and economic subordination. This conception of education and social ordersupported by northern industrial philanthropists, some black educators, and most southern school officialsconflicted with the aspirations of ex-slaves and their descendants, resulting at the turn of the century in a bitter national debate over the purposes of black education. Because blacks lacked economic and political power, white elites were able to control the structure and content of black elementary, secondary, normal, and college education during the first third of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, blacks persisted in their struggle to develop an educational system in accordance with their own needs and desires.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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posted 9 June 2012
Related files: Support Letter for Dr. Jahi Issa