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The importance of historically Black colleges and universities

Historically Black Colleges and Universities aren't just a window of hope, but a cornerstone of Black history.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A dark past filled with little to no opportunities for the black community was illuminated with possibilities upon the creation of historically black colleges and universities.

Founded by a former slave, Alabama A&M University rose from the ashes on the very land Dr. William Hooper Councill was once sold on.

Through his challenges, Dr. William Hooper Councill and other founders of HBCUs transformed a community once restricted from higher learning into scholars.

For 185 years, HBCUs have been an outlet for not only black students but for black educators. On average, African American and black people make up 56% of the faculty at HBCUs compared to less than 10% in PWI's.

And, the culture of an HBCU is totally different than any other school you could possibly find.

When I first stepped foot at Alabama A&m University, it was like a big community party.

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As the years passed, HBCUs weren't only helping the black community progress in the classroom, but they also developed into a pillar for black culture, extending through the divine nine.

While HBCUs are the epitome of turning tragedy into triumph, there are still peaks and valleys these institutions have yet to be fully overcome in our country

Both public and private HBCUs are more dependent on federal, state, and local funding in comparison to PWI's. In addition, for many years these institutions have received the short end of the stick

The work on historically black colleges and universities is nowhere near done, but much like Alabama A&M's motto, these institutions have provided the black community the opportunity to start here and go anywhere.

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