Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities

ISBN: 978-1-80043-665-7, eISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

Publication date: 26 May 2021


(2021), "Prelims", Crosby, G.B., White, K.A., Chanay, M.A. and Hilton, A.A. (Ed.) Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Great Debates in Higher Education), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xii.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Series Title Page

Great Debates in Higher Education is a series of short, accessible books addressing key challenges to and issues in Higher Education on a national and international level. These books are research informed but debate-driven. They are intended to be relevant to a broad spectrum of researchers, students, and administrators in higher education, and are designed to help us unpack and assess the state of higher education systems, policies, and social and economic impacts.

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Timely is the best caption to summarize Reimagining HBCUs: Survival Beyond 2020. In a watershed moment in world history, this volume captures the unique role of HBCUs beyond 2020. The contributors to this volume discuss a wide range of social issues which include the role of HBCU's amidst COVID-19 and racial injustice. Reimagining HBCUs: Survival Beyond 2020 is a must read for those concerned with social justice! It offers a unique perspective that juxtaposes the historical with the contemporary role of HBCUs in preparing leaders to address the most pressing challenges in the 21st century.

–Abul Adonis Pitre, PhD, Professor & Chair of the Department of Africana Studies, San Francisco State University

In this very timely work, Dr. Crosby and his colleagues encourage us to reimagine HBCUs by incorporating a triad of perspectives – reflection, introspection, and projection – to provoke thought. The collective insights herein, if embraced, offer us viable considerations that will ensure that HBCUs remain as options for our children's children.

–Eurmon Hervey, Jr, EdD, MBA, Special Assistant to the Chancellor and SACSCOC Liaison, Southern University at New Orleans

Reimagining HBCUs: Survival Beyond 2020 is an exciting new volume that pushes the next generation of HBCU leaders and scholars to reconsider what is necessary to ensure the vitality of HBCUs in the future. HBCUs have a storied history of advancing educational outcomes for black people in the face of great odds. However, the challenges in continuing to fulfill the HBCU mission has become increasingly difficult in recent years, given enrollment challenges, resource constraints, and racist political structures. To emerge successfully from the COVID-19 pandemic, HBCUs will need to reconsider practices in all areas. This volume can serve as the impetus for action and a guidebook for those who are committed to ensuring that HBCUs exist and thrive in the 2020's and beyond.

–J. Luke Wood, PhD, Vice President of Student Affairs & Campus Diversity, Chief Diversity Officer, Distinguished Professor of Education, San Diego State University

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in America have a long, remarkable history that celebrates their undeniable past contributions to the advancement of every field of human endeavor, like art, history, music, politics, and religion. The preponderance of published works, to date, acknowledge this timeless fact. Commendably, this new book builds upon that unshakeable foundation to make an important, fresh contribution to knowledge. The authors show through each chapter that the future of HBCUs can be even brighter than their illuminating past. Read and see.

–Terrell L. Strayhorn, PhD, Provost & Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs, Professor and Director, Center for the Study of HBCUs, Virginia Union University

Title Page

Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Survival Beyond 2021

Edited by

Gary B. Crosby

Alabama A&M University, USA

Khalid A. White

San Jose City College, USA

Marcus A. Chanay

Lincoln University of Missouri, USA


Adriel A. Hilton

Southern University at New Orleans, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters' suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80043-665-7 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-666-4 (Epub)


In the dimming of the Age of Pisces,

In the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,

In the moment of the Grand Conjunction,

In the cycle of the Triple Conjunction,

In the pandemonium of the COVID-19 Pandemic,

In the chaos of the unprecedented deadly assault on the bastion/symbol of Democracy: The Capitol of the United States of America, the business of the people, the lives of the people are evolving since human beginnings in ways with losses and gains, and with prospect and promise, yet to be realized. Whether one believes in these ages, cycles, pandemonium, insurrection, matters not.

Out of such conditions and circumstances of great adversity, human accomplishments are achieved. So, it is that: what we know, understand, and believe about historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) is encapsulated in our direct, indirect, and peripheral, if you will, experiences with these forging institutions.

Someone once said that the most important resource of every organization/institution is “the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills.” This is a valid assertion that must simultaneously acknowledge and incorporate the essential need and availability of appropriate organizational tools/systems for the “right people” to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of those for whom they provide services and support.

In retrospect, 1865 marked the instance when four million emancipated slaves, ninety-nine percent of whom were illiterate, found themselves in need of an education. Spawned from this unparalleled and unprecedented state of human need is what we contemporarily call HBCUs. Emerging in the first ten years following emancipation, early institutions founded by various religious denominations, supported by northern philanthropy/largesse, some private, some public, poorly supported, but were not colleges or universities in our contemporary senses of these terms. Long denied regional accreditation, when finally admitted it was to an inferior status than institutions with much fewer consecutive and cumulative years of service or scope of academic programs. Evolving over time and through circumstances succumbing and surviving, and sometimes thriving in spite of the odds against them. Paradoxically, it was desegregation that did the most damage to the then-emerging potential power of these colleges and universities as they were coming fully to be in their own right. While these institutions struggled through uncountable troubles and torments and destructiveness both man-made and natural, they continue to aspire and compete successfully in an increasingly, reshaping environment where bold and visionary, engaging, and inclusive leadership must be demonstrated and sustained.

It is leadership and management that must come together, always reaching to advance while also reaching back to pull another up and or maintain a path where others may follow as they so choose and move forward. It will require a recognition that the ebb and flow of learning and teaching and teaching and learning is foundational to longevity and contribution. It is in recalling, recognizing, and remembering that it is as in a baby's first movement after birth/the essence of one's success in any life endeavor.

HBCUs have remained and maintained viable roadways to achievement and success for any who seek what they have to offer in an increasingly complex and conflicted world. Within the DNA of this essential community, resource is a resistance and concomitantly boundless sustenance for well-being. This aspect of the HBCU DNA was forged when enslaved people were forced into this land. It is self-perpetuating by preparing for future political and sociocultural pitfalls through facilitative and enabling learning, knowing, and internalizing the rich competitive enhancing and enlightening historical nature of education/teaching and learning and teaching in the HBCU community.

In the 156 years since the Emancipation Proclamation, 54 years after publication of his seminal book, a few days after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol killing and injuring, six days before Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s Holiday Observance, and a week before the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, I am STRUCK surprisingly by the CONTEMPORARILY questioning title of Martin Luther King, Jr’s 1967 Book:

CHAOS or COMMUNITY, Where Do We Go from Here?

John T. Wolfe, Jr, PhD

Chapter 1 An Anchored Look Forward
Chapter 2 The History of HBCUs: Lessons on Innovation from the Past
Chapter 3 Don't Believe the Hype: HBCUs and MSIs Are Still Necessary to Black Political and Socioeconomic Development and Advancement
Chapter 4 HBCUs in a New Decade: A Look at 2010 to 2020 and Beyond
Chapter 5 HBCUs: The Foundation and Future of Social Justice, Leadership, and Leadership Development
Chapter 6 Using THRIVE as a Framework for Creating HBCU Success Stories
Chapter 7 Philanthropy versus Fundraising – An Imperative for HBCUs
Chapter 8 Financial Issues for HBCUs in 2020 and Beyond
Chapter 9 Sharpening a Competitive Edge: How HBCUs Leverage Their Strengths with Strategic Partnerships
Chapter 10 Adaptive Survival Strategies: A Case Study Analysis of Four Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Chapter 11 Answering the Call: The Role of HBCUs in Engaging Black Women's Identity Politics
Chapter 12 Current Trends, Future Directions: Promoting the Long-Term Survival and Success of HBCUs
Chapter 13 Democracy Matters in the 21st Century HBCU Writing Classroom: AfriWomanism as a Political, Pedagogical Tool
Chapter 14 The Category Is…Transformational Inclusion: A Conceptual Framework for (Re)imagining the Inclusion of Black Queer and Trans* Students Attending HBCUs
Chapter 15 The Usage of Personal Power When Collaborating with Black Male Scholars at a Historically Black College and University
Chapter 16 The Reasons for Reimagining
About the Editors
About the Contributors