By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.
In continuance of my Black History Month articles, I have decided to focus on America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as universities that were established between the 1800s and the early 1960s exclusively to educate American blacks are called.
I am always amazed by how little most Africans know about America’s historically black colleges and universities. A few months ago, I met a Nigerian whose experience with HBCUs typifies the experiences of most Africans I’ve met regarding HBCUs. He told me the excitement he felt about pursuing his undergraduate education in America evaporated when he got here and discovered that the school he was admitted to had an almost all-black student population.
“Why in the world should I leave the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and come to America to attend another university that is no different from it?” he told me. “I didn’t know there were universities in America that have only black students and lecturers.”