Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Albert L. Samuels
Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), according to the Higher Education Act of 1965, are those postsecondary educational institutions established before 1964 with the mission of educating African American students. During the period of Jim Crow segregation, these institutions represented for most African Americans the only realistic opportunity for them to receive a college education. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas (1954), many observers predicted, and called for, the elimination of HBCUs on the grounds that these schools were the most visible vestige of the separate-but-unequal systems of higher education that had served to deny African Americans equal educational opportunities. However, not only have HBCUs continued to exist, but also they still play significant roles in ensuring access to educational opportunity for African Americans. This entry recalls their history and accomplishments. The first public Black colleges were Cheney and Lincoln ...