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Publication date: 26 May 2021

Khalid A. White

The year 2020 was plagued by a global health pandemic. COVID-19 and the coronavirus threatened individuals, industries, and institutions around the world. Millions of…

Abstract

The year 2020 was plagued by a global health pandemic. COVID-19 and the coronavirus threatened individuals, industries, and institutions around the world. Millions of people around the world have been negatively impacted and affected in the wake of this health crisis. This crisis touched every aspect of human life and human interaction, creating a climate unlike any other experienced. One of the many institutions negatively impacted by COVID-19 were America's historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). As a result of the pandemic, HBCU leaders have had to reimagine what the historically black college experience can and should be on their campus. Reimaging the HBCU experience is not an easy or enviable endeavor. HBCUs have long been a conduit, a driving force for socioeconomic and sociocultural advancement. However, reimagining is necessary if HBCUs are to remain true to this calling. As a collective group, to survive COVID-19's effects and thrive beyond 2020, HBCUs will have to reimagine themselves and their direction. The author provides a cursory view of how HBCU leadership can utilize this book as a tool for reimagining their campus, college, and community connection.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Publication date: 26 May 2021

Kendra N. Bryant

According to Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, whose best-known contribution to critical thought is his theory regarding hegemony, education “serves a directly important…

Abstract

According to Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, whose best-known contribution to critical thought is his theory regarding hegemony, education “serves a directly important function in maintaining hegemony…[for] [i]t is a vehicle by which consensus is maintained and the knowledge of the ruling bloc (the majority ruling class) is legitimated” (Gross, 2011, p. 66). Although Gramsci's theoretical work was initially situated within the Fascist-dominated Italian legislature in which he aimed to understand how the ruling class maintained power over the proletariat (oppressed groups), his concept offers a lens through which social critics have been able to understand the prevailing superstructures of power in Western capitalist societies. This chapter, therefore, relies on Gramsci's theories to develop an argument (and writing pedagogy) regarding the democratic ability of the historically Black college and university (HBCU), for I contend the HBCU, particularly its first-year composition classroom, is a space where students can practice and propel democracy, thus countering the hegemony that insists on oppressing Black and Brown people.

While the HBCU, as defined by the 1965 Higher Education Act, is a by-product of the superstructure and is thusly grounded upon and legitimated by what bell hooks terms “the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy,” therefore functioning as institutionalized spaces for constructing and maintaining hegemony, HBCUs, explains Eddie S. Glaude Jr. in his 2016 Democracy in Black, are “institutions that both cultivated their (Black folks') civic capacities and served as a space to transmit values that opposed the value gap” (p. 125). In other words, Black folks have had to create “safe spaces” like the HBCU, to exist in their full humanity within an oppressive America whose white citizens devalued their being, and therefore, their American citizenship. Although the HBCU is legitimated by the hegemony, the HBCU, I argue, remains a space where the democracy America has yet to realize can be learned and practiced, especially if teachers, particularly within first-year composition programs, employ counterhegemonic curriculums and practices like the AfriWomanist approach to teaching I offer here.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2021

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Publication date: 26 May 2021

Evan Wade

This chapter explores the innovative founding and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This chapter contends that HBCUs have been on the…

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This chapter explores the innovative founding and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This chapter contends that HBCUs have been on the forefront of curriculum development and adoptability. Early curriculum models focused on preparing students for better employment and for leading in racial uplift work. This chapter asserts that the HBCU needs to maintain a cultural relevancy in the twenty-first century by developing a strong entrepreneurial class and an employable Black labor force; it also needs to stand steadfast in its commitment to train leaders of the next generation. Lastly, listening to students and incorporating their perspectives in the institutional planning process is vital to maintaining cultural relevancy in the twenty-first.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Publication date: 26 May 2021

Lessie Branch

The decline in attendance at historically Black colleges and universities and their existence is as much about the theoretical frameworks of social knowledge that exist…

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The decline in attendance at historically Black colleges and universities and their existence is as much about the theoretical frameworks of social knowledge that exist within a putative post-racial society as it is about the systemic destabilization of educational institutions that produce a critical mass of Black and Brown professional through, inter alia, neoliberal narratives of individualism. What impact does framing have on erroneous beliefs about the efficacy of HBCUs? In the context of America's historical and current sociopolitical environment, HBCUs are more than educative spaces for Black students. HBCUs are places where the transformative practices of rhetorical criticism and collective action can uproot attitudes and theories that lead Blacks students to believe the marginalized outcomes they experience are their own fault over systemic racial discrimination.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Publication date: 26 May 2021

Megan Covington and Nadrea R. Njoku

Nearly 45 years ago, the Combahee River Collective, a group of Black feminists, released their statement, which served as a call to action to address gaps in contemporary…

Abstract

Nearly 45 years ago, the Combahee River Collective, a group of Black feminists, released their statement, which served as a call to action to address gaps in contemporary Black feminism by engaging in antiracist and antisexist identity politics. In 1983, Jacqueline Fleming explored the making of matriarchs at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Since then, there have been few explorations into the construction of Black womanhood at HBCUs (Njoku, 2017). Educational research across contexts that explores the construction of gender among African-American women has also been limited. This demonstrates a need to speak truth to power, challenging existing power structures throughout the academy. The inadequacy of educational narratives from Sistas at HBCUs, and across all institutional contexts, has yielded a single story of resilience that is used to validate the need for research on Black men, yet ignore Black women. As we look upon the survival of HBCUs beyond 2020, we must reconsider the ways that HBCUs contribute to the idea of identity politics and the existing challenges to these identity politics within HBCUs. In this chapter, we argue the importance for HBCU leaders to engage the Combahee River Collective's call by intentionally investing in Black women and amplifying narratives that give depth and debunk the myths and ignorance of Black women's college experiences. Truth-telling in this case harnesses the voices of African-American women at HBCUs “in the specific goal of confronting existing power relations”. We provide an updated response to the Combahee River Collective Statement in which we delve into the ways HBCUs contribute to identity politics and the challenges to identity politics at HBCUs. This chapter challenges power relations not only within the context that the narratives occurred but also within an academy that has failed to excavate them, until now.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2021

Reshunda L. Mahone

According to the most recent Giving USA report, charitable contributions in the United States total over $410B.1 While education is the second-largest slice of the pie…

Abstract

According to the most recent Giving USA report, charitable contributions in the United States total over $410B. 1 While education is the second-largest slice of the pie, receiving over $58B, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) lag predominantly white institutions (PWIs) in their ability to raise funds for their institution. HBCUs struggle to capture the sustained attention of alumni, lack resources to adequately fund advancement operations and require a new level of skills and strategy to support the survival of our institutions beyond 2020.

This chapter will describe how HBCUs can move from fundraising to continuous philanthropy and understand the building blocks necessary for an optimized advancement operation required to sustain our institutions and the students we serve. Using the framework designed by AMAtlas Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey advancement leaders can develop strategies by making data-driven decisions. In the most recent VSE survey, only 26 HBCUs participated, which does not elevate the relevance and power of philanthropy at our institutions. 2 Additionally, practical points highlight how we can strategically partner and support Alumni Associations when social media and virtual opportunities are more commonplace than ever before. Our institutions must embrace emerging trends and tax advantage opportunities while leveraging events in ways that enhance philanthropy as opposed to serving as the dominant strategy each fiscal year.

University presidents and governing board members rely heavily on philanthropy as an external revenue source to support the operations and expansion of their institutions. With tuition revenue models outpacing what our students can afford, the demand on advancement will become more important in the future. Institutional leadership must have the best understanding of what philanthropy is and is not, and how their leadership and vision can support a culture of philanthropy needed to thrive in a competitive higher education marketplace.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2021

Yoruba T. Mutakabbir and Christopher Parker

In order to survive beyond 2020, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will need to strengthen their financial standing. Compared to predominately white

Abstract

In order to survive beyond 2020, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will need to strengthen their financial standing. Compared to predominately white institutions, HBCUs have substantially weaker financial resources. Without strong fundraising and effective financial management, HBCUs are doomed beyond 2020. The importance of hiring astute financial managers at HBCUs cannot be overstated. History, tradition, and reputation are irrelevant at an institution if the finances are not optimally managed. Moreover, state and federal higher education policies can damage the financial standing of HBCUs, as seen in the 2013 PLUS loan crisis. This chapter will be divided into two sections. The first section will provide a historical and contemporary perspective on financing HBCUs, including how state higher education policies impact HBCUs. The second section of the chapter will provide an overview of budget management at HBCUs.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2021

Tamara Zellars Buck and Pam Parry

The Department of Education has declared historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) a rich resource for the nation – one that elicits pride and connotes…

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The Department of Education has declared historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) a rich resource for the nation – one that elicits pride and connotes achievement, according to its Website. 1 Those same institutions are grappling with an increasingly competitive environment in higher education. HBCUs remain a formidable force, but the question remains: How can they continue to compete and thrive in the complex, dynamic world of academe?

The answer: By playing to their strengths and forging new paths.

Essentially, HBCUs' greatest strength is their cultural makeup. Higher education is becoming increasingly competitive as universities of all sizes battle smaller population, a thriving economy, and less interest in academia (and its resulting debt). HBCUs, which have long been able to attract African-American students due to their status as cultural icons, now find themselves losing ground not only due to these issues but also due to the integration of institutions and the inflated costs of these mostly private institutions.

Some options that administrators have considered include merging with other institutions, marketing themselves to students of other races or nationalities, and creating specialized offerings (drone technology, for example) to remain competitive. But there is another option, and that is to take their strength – attracting African-American students – and create partnerships with corporations, government entities, and predominantly white institutions (PWIs).

The goal of such partnerships would be to increase philanthropic donations from and provide cultural exchanges and perspectives to diversity-sparse professional and education institutions that have nothing to lose and everything to gain by helping to produce well-trained workers of color.

This chapter would explore how HBCUs can develop private partnerships and leverage them to compete in today's world of higher education.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2021

Dawn Y. Matthews and Tamara Bertrand Jones

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have served as the foundation of Black education in the United States and have been instrumental in the social and…

Abstract

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have served as the foundation of Black education in the United States and have been instrumental in the social and economic advances of the Black community since the Civil War. Students enrolled in and graduating from HBCUs develop and maintain a strong racial identity, a positive self-image, feel connected to others, and ultimately give back to their communities. HBCU students and alumni often challenge normative leadership paradigms to resist inequity and ultimately create social change. Unfortunately, HBCUs are missing from the leadership education conversations despite their historical contributions in teaching leadership and producing leaders. As such, the influence of Black colleges in the areas of social justice, leadership, and leadership development should be carefully examined by leadership educators and researchers. Using the Culturally Responsive Leadership Learning Model (Bertrand Jones, Guthrie, & Osteen, 2016), we consider the ways that HBCUs facilitate the development of students' leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy within the institutional contexts of (1) historical legacy of inclusion/exclusion, (2) compositional diversity, (3) psychological climate, (4) behavioral climate, and (5) organizational/structural aspects. Providing examples of leadership education programs, practices, and policies from HBCUs, we will explore how HBCUs develop Black students' leadership identity, capacity, and efficacy to generate our country's most capable leaders for social justice.

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Reimagining Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-664-0

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