Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were founded to educate formerly enslaved people of African descent. Cheyney State University in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, was established in 1837 as the first historically Black institution of higher education. There are now 105 HBCUs scattered throughout the United States, the majority of which are located in the South. Many of these were built after the Morrill Act of 1890, which provided for state-supported land-grant HBCUs. The importance of these institutions to Black people is paramount, past and present. This entry provides a short history of HBCUs and describes the challenges they have faced, the successes they have achieved, and future goals. It identifies reasons why a knowledge of HBCUs is important in understanding race relations in the United States and how Blacks have been self-determined in their efforts to educate themselves despite opposition. It also explores the growing role of degree programs in criminal ...