It’s time out for people who graduated from, attend, work for, and/or support historically Black college and universities (HBCUs) to continue to stay on defense about the significant value of HBCUs. We need to get on offense. Yes, defense is important because it is the side of the ball where a team prevents the other team from scoring points, but you cannot win without scoring points. Of course, great defensive efforts can lead to the scoring of points but those defensive efforts must be converted into offense. This is how it goes in basketball and football and this is how it goes when it comes to winning the war being waged against our beloved HBCUs.
We’ve been on defense far too long and we’ve not converted our defense into offense, meaning we are not scoring any points against our opponents, those who try to dismantle, devalue, and/or undermine HBCUs. We already know that most of the enemies of HBCUs are White. These are not just any White people either—these are racist, elitist, classist, and/or prejudiced White people. Therefore, just don’t look at any White person and assume that he or she is an enemy of HBCUs. You have to evaluate words and actions of people to resolve whether or not they are enemies of HBCUs. Don’t just think that the enemies of HBCUs are all White—many Blacks are some of the greatest enemies of HBCUs.
You may be thinking that the only Black enemies of HBCUs have to be those “nefarious Black conservatives.” Unfortunately, many of the nefarious Black enemies of HBCUs are those who attend or have attended one of these institutions or work for or have worked for one of these institutions. Now, these previously mentioned Black enemies of HBCUs represent a tremendously small percentage of the enemies of HBCUs, but their power can be just as damaging as White enemies of HBCUs—possibly even more injurious.
Instead of letting misinformation, unmerited negative criticism, blatant lies, unfair characterizations, belittling viewpoints, and etc. continue to have a significant impact, Black people and non-Blacks who support HBCUs need to use the power of social media to saturate the internet with true information and responses to misinformation about HBCUs and offer positive messages about HBCUs. If you only know information about the specific HBCUs you attend/or graduated from, then just talk about your specific HBCU through social media. Use your Facebook status and the “Note” function to periodically say something positive about HBCUs. Use Twitter to occasionally say something positive about HBCUs. Make YouTube videos that present HBCUs in a positive light. Bloggers should pen pieces that communicate positive academic, social, and professional student experiences at HBCUs. For those who don’t blog, get a free blog at WordPress (http://wordpress.com) or Blogger (http://blogger.com) and compose positive pieces about HBCUs—they don’t have to be long pieces either.
Again, the goal is to saturate the internet with positive information and messages about HBCUs. Now, I see many Black people engaging in all kinds of foolishness through social media. Take a little time to devote to supporting HBCUs through social media. We must focus on making it clear that HBCUs offer great academic value and experiences. The internet needs to be filled with great success stories of those who have graduate from HBCUs.
Although I’m not attempting to present the ideas in this article as panaceas to the problems HBCUs confront, the ideas in this piece are practical ways to help us advance, defend, ameliorate, and support HBCUs. Black people have the power to use social media to form a potent collective to market HBCUs in the way they deserve to be marketed.
Please take at least a small amount of the time you spend using social media to devote to uplifting, improving, advancing, and supporting HBCUs. We are strongest when we are united!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
I know every time my alma matter has news, a few of my friends and people who attended retweet information. It’s much faster to stay connected. I think just the ability to respond and push news out on these social network sites are amazing. We have to use our powers for good. It’s okay to tweet random but also tweet some stuff of substance. Not just HBCUs but education in general.
Yes, Drew, it’s okay to have random tweets. In a sense, all tweets are random. Yes, tweet about education in general, but when you attend, work for, and/or graduated from an HBCU, it’s vital that you champion HBCUs through social media because many people are out their daily trying to strip the value of the degree you earned from an HBCU. All that is needed is a little time of one’s social media use devoted to championing HBCUs. A blog is a form of social media, so I encourage all of my fellow bloggers to play their part. I just want people to know that we have the power to saturate the internet with positive things about HBCUs. We can saturate the internet with such great information and positive messages about HBCUs that enemies of HBCUs will have a much more difficult time spreading their false messages and hate. Thanks for reading and your response.
I’ll do one better, I’ll write an article on it and the importance. This is something I have noticed for a really long time and held off on putting it out there, but i’ll do my part.
Thanks, Greg! Social media are powerful tools we employ to fight enemies of HBCUs and to weaken their attacks, hate, and misinformation. With social media, we can take the offensive and not stay on the defensive. I appreciate you for being willing to do your part in this very important war to defeat the enemies of HBCUs. I look forward reading your piece when you pen and publish it. Thanks for reading and your response.
I can dig this! We have to show a positive light on these institutions no doubt. But at the same time I also have an inherent problem with the HBCUS that will have the dopest homecoming with Waka Flaka and Rick Ross but the CPU lab sux and thery don’t have the funding to bring in educational speakers
I agree. Some of the leaders at some HBCUs need to be wiser stewards of these institutions’ dollars. However, there’s enough information out there about HBCUs not properly managing and appropriating funds, so we should share our recommendations for improvement directly with those institutions in a more private manner. Even well-intentioned critiques of those who truly support HBCUs can be used by enemies of HBCUs as ways of attacking them. I agree with your response very much, though. Thanks for reading and your response.