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Reflecting on my HBCU experience

Updated on June 24, 2019

A Different Worldview

In August of 1987, I began my undergraduate studies at Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), which is a historically African American institution of higher learning that is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Having grown up on two historically African American campuses (Southern University and Mississippi Valley State University), I was actually ready to experience going to one of these institutions. Going to one of these institutions actually taught me about the African American experience.

When I attended my historically African American institution, the television series, A Different World, actually was on. In looking at those reruns, I actually think back to my student days at Clark Atlanta University. To reflect, many of the African American students in my class, did attend historically black institutions in Mississippi. On the other hand, only three of us attended historically African American institutions out of state. I believe that I was the first student from my high school to attend Clark.

To me, attending my alma mater was the best choice that I made because I have learned in times of adversity to: " Find a way or make one". As a political science major, I learned to apply the concepts to the Afircan American experience. In my religion and history classes, I learned about the African Diaspora. In fact, many of the professors that I had were actually nurturing us to go out in the mainstream.

Attending these institutions actually helped a majority of us find our sense of values because we came in with a worldview that we were born in. For instance, there were some who actually found their sense of values through religion. There were some who embraced Islam through the Nation or traditional Islamic Sects. We discovered ourselves through the culture and literature that was stressed through our classes.

In a previous blog, I had discussed my experiences at a traditionally Caucasian institution. To state, I find that the faculty and staff at Clark Atlanta were very much accessible than the ones at Jacksonville. From what I saw at Clark Atlanta, there was a sense of identifying with each other. Jacksonville's faculty did not stress multiculturalism in education.

After graduation in 1991, I still keep in touch with many of the people that I went to school with. Most of us are members of the Divine Nine (Black Greek Letter Organizations). I try to get to Homecoming whenever I can. The experience of going to a historically African American institution of higher learning actually gives you insight about cultural heritage and identity.

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    • william landis profile image

      William L 

      6 years ago

      Greetings. The experience in the Ebony tower (HBCU) is a unique one. There is no other academic experience like it. The culture and legacy is a treasure. Not to mention the intellectual cultivation I hope that we continue maintaining these institutions so the next generation will be able to utilize them.

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