Celebrating HBCU Week – Legacy of Education Warriors!

September 14, 2011

HBCU Proud Legcy tee by Kiarablu

HBCU Proud Legacy

During this week and next many Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be taking time out to celebrate their membership in the HBCU collective.  These schools have offered education and scholarship to African American students since the early 1800’s.

HBCUs  have continuously provided a place for African American students to increase their knowledge and scholarship despite lack of funding  or adequate  public support for over 170 years.  The original instructors and students were very commited to establishing and maintaining schools for the enrichment of the African-American community.  Early students  worked hard just to physically get to these schools –   Book T. Washington walked from West Virginia  to  Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) located  in  SE Virginia.  Another example of the students dedication to this same  institution was the funding that the Hampton Institute Choir obtained to build Virginia-Clevlend  Dormitory. The sung for groups around the country to raise money to build their  womens dorm! The faculty and students in the 19th century did not let the limitations of social stigma, lack of abundant funding or politics stop them from building these schools.  

Founder of Tuskeegee

Booker T. Washington

These determined men and women have left us an amazing legacy.   We must re-examine the current state of education within the African-American community and re-establish this “education warrior” attitude.   The Malcom X quote of  ” By any means necessay!” comes to mind when looking at how to implement this “warrior” attitude in modern times.   As a community we must come together to educate our students from the elementary level through post graduate.  Without a strong education, the foundation of the community is weak and that can only lead to an unempowered community in the future.   

As we celebrate the beautiful legacy of the HBCU’s,  we must also strongly encourage faculty, students and alumni of these great insitutions to take a critical look around for what they can contribute today to education within our community. These institutions should be creating an abundance of  “education warriors” who then reach out to others and elevate the community through teaching!   Every graduate should feel obligated to becoming a reading buddy, establishing a math club or developing a local  “Black History center” !  The completion of an undergraduate degree should be  look upon as the begining of a journey of enlightenment instead of the “end” of school!  One of the greatest examples of  how this type of attitude can make a difference is the building of Tuskeegee Institute.   The brilliant Booker T. Washington established  Tuskegee Institute in Alabama  using the education he received  Hampton Institute.   He did not take his education and go back home …..find a good job ….live the “good life”. He took  his knowledge, applied it and worked  to help others in the community reach this same level of scholarship!  

Adinkra symbol Akoben - Horn used to sound the Battle Cry!

Educational Warriors - Sound the Battle Cry!!

The time has come for the African-American community take education of   OUR community back into our own hands….we can not rely on local school boards, school systems etc to provide our children with knowledge.  Educational warriors are despeartely needed today…. to change the path so many children are on.   I offer this challenge to not only HBCU alumni, faculty and students but to everyone who can…..go out and become an educational warrior…..teach the youth  so they become better citizens which will give  our  community and our country a better future.  Stand on this beautiful HBCU legacy and help build a solid future  for the African-American community. 

19th century history class @ Tuskegee Institute

"Educational Warriors"

Do you know of some modern day “educational Warriors”?  I would LOVE to hear about them! So Please share here!

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