Last Sunday, Wayne Washington’s article in The State, Missing: Black Males on Campus, was very difficult to read. He outlined several reasons why black men do not enroll in SC’s top colleges. While I agree that the number of black men in college is far lower than I’d like to see, Washington completely disregarded many very important reasons why black men do not go to USC, Clemson and College of Charleston. Maybe, just maybe, they’d prefer going to a historically black college and university (HBCU).
Throughout the South, on HBCU campuses like Allen University, Morehouse, SC State, Norfolk State, and FAMU, the black male enrollment is significantly higher than the 3 percent Washington quoted. In fact, at Benedict College, the ratio of male to female students is nearly 50/50 (49.08 male to 50.92 female, to be exact). It’s unfortunate that SC’s statewide paper completely disregarded that fact.
But, that’s what I’m here for… to tell you the other side of the story.
So, you want some real talk why black men don’t go to white schools? Ok… here are the top 5 reason, according to That Teowonna.
5. Food. Let’s be real… the food at USC can not compare to the food at an HBCU. I’ve had both, and USC’s is truly lacking. In fact, when I was a student there, the hospitality staff paid me and other black students $10 to sit in a focus group to determine why black students were not eating the caf. Wanna know why? The food doesn’t taste like mama’s.
4. Sense of an extended family. From what my male friends who have attended HBCU’s have told me, they felt like everyone at HBCU’s, including the cafeteria ladies, really care about them. They care that a member of their family passed away; they care enough to tell them to pull up their pants; they care that they need an extra serving of food. I never got an extra serving of anything at USC.
3. Better Bands. Keeping it 100… the bands at USC, College of Charleston and Clemson just can’t cut the mustard. Black musicians want to attend schools that have great bands. Every black boy that was in my high school band fantasized about being on the SC State drumline… not Clemson’s. Does Clemson even have a drumline?
2. Honor their parent’s legacy. Many black men, like Charles Hickman, want to share the HBCU experience with their parents, and some, even their grandparents. For some black men, especially those from more affluent and culturally aware families, going to an outstanding HBCU is the standard. Anything else is unthinkable! You just might get kicked out the family if you even mention Carolina.
And the top reason black men don’t go to USC, Clemson, and College of Charleston… because they don’t want to! They want Morehouse, Hampton, Howard, SC State, Allen, Benedict, FAMU. They want schools that make them feel welcomed; make them feel like they are a part. They want familiarity; they want a quality education as well as solidarity. And they want what many perceive USC and the like can not provide… they want to belong.
Now run, tell that!