Black Colleges: New Perspectives on Policy and Practice

Black Colleges: New Perspectives on Policy and Practice

Black Colleges: New Perspectives on Policy and Practice

Black Colleges: New Perspectives on Policy and Practice


Black colleges are central to the delivery of higher education. Notwithstanding, there is scant treatment of these key institutions in the research literature. There is a need for a comprehensive and cogent understanding of the primary characteristics of the policies and practices endemic to black colleges. This book provides the scholarly basis requisite to organize, give meaning to, and shape the analyses and applications of policy and practice within the black college. The collected chapters respond to the paucity of research literature adressing these institutions. In each chapter, the authors acknowledge the specific characteristics of black colleges that make them unique.


The State of Research on
Black Colleges:
An Introduction

M. Christopher Brown II and Kassie Freeman

The formation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) is rooted in the aspiration of African Americans to gain education during a time in which legalized racial segregation and the preclusion of African Americans from obtaining formal education endured. As remnants of a period in America's past that some would like to pretend did not exist, HBCUs have been excluded from the focus of mainstream historical and empirical higher education research. In the absence of an authentic, comprehensive body of research on HBCUs, few have accurately described or assessed the place these institutions occupy in the landscape of American higher education. [From their very beginnings,] argue Allen and Jewell (2002), [HBCUs were faced with outright opposition to their existence] (p. 242). Many feared the social, economic, and political implications of an educated African American citizenry. Early opposition to these institutions was manifest in overt hostility and physical destruction (Roebuck and Murty, 1993), as well as charges that African American students were intellectually inferior. Today, HBCUs continue to be devalued and misjudged, and the label of inferiority continues to be misapplied to African American students and historically black institutions alike. Since the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board, of Education, HBCUs have also been accused of being anachronisms and charged with promoting segregation. However, those who make such claims do so in direct opposition to the history that led to the development of these institutions.

Much can be learned from and about HBCUs. Although the fact is often . . .

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