The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

HBCUs Administratively, are a bunch of Sell-Outs!

Frederick Douglas was beaten by a slave owner for attempting to read. See, generally, the Narratives of Fredrick Douglas. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted his children to be able to go to school and play with children of different races. See, generally, Dr. King Jr. I Have A Dream Speech.  During most of African American history, whites have been the divisive line between African Americans and education. Now, however, the line has been drawn by African American leaders at HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) who make a fortune off of hindering the students they proclaim to serve.


Yes, there are exceptions. N.C. A&T State University had Renick, who has transformed the school into a modern university and a beautiful campus to which the entire state system can be envious. But, what about the others? Sadly, they fall short of providing students what they need to succeed. Further, they don’t come close to facilitating simple amenities that others students at predominately white schools enjoy.  


Recently, I sent an email to the Board of Trustees to an HBCU asking, why is their campus closed off during football games? No student can get on campus to do what they came to the institution for, which is to study and to get good grades. They act as if every student wishes to participate in homecoming. This school has a professional school. Yet, most of the professional school students which to go elsewhere to study.

The Law School building at this HBCU closes at midnight, while every other law school is open 24 hours a day. Yes, they have access cards, and so does everyone else at the schools they attend. The security says they refuse to patrol the law school past midnight, and see it as a waste of time. What they should say is the truth, they do not want to do their job and am not going to be responsible if someone gets hurt because they didn’t feel like making sure the building was secure.  And, blacks wonder why more HBCU do not have professional schools. The answer is clear, because black administration will not run an professional school with the class, leadership, and integrity that these schools deserve.  Blacks universities wish to have professional schools for the sake of having them with no intention of properly funding and supporting them.  

What if Fredrick Douglass lived today? Supposed he went to an HBCU law school. He would be prevented from diligently studying because other blacks don’t want to support him. Yet, these same blacks want to proclaim heritage to their race. The security will work a step show, a homecoming concert with other African Americans who promote a lifestyle that is detrimental to our race, but won’t support students attempting to get an education.


In youth culture, a sell-out is someone who does work, studies, does not get in trouble, and attempts to make a good living because they are not “acting black.” (See, Act Like the Middle Class Negro You Are).  Now, I am changing the mold. I am calling any black a sell-out if they  do not support other African Americans in getting a quality education or advancing in their careers.


So, HBCU administration, are you a sell-out? Who cares if homecoming is great? Are your students employable upon graduation? Can they get into a graduate degree program other than ones at an HBCU?  Are they competent in the work force? Are they seen as graduating from a respectable university? They have to pay back a lot of loans. Figures say that over 3/4of students at HBCU are on financial aid. Are they getting their monies worth? Is your salary too high for the work you do? Do you REALLY care about the student body? So far, I think the answer to all the before mentioned questions is no, and HBCU administration, as a whole, is a bunch of sell-outs.  Now, I want you to do something about it.

November 4, 2006 - Posted by | African American, Black men, college, HBCU, Law School, university


  1. Hi young black man,

    This is an intriguing bit of information here. I question if the HBCU campuses that block off access to buildings during football games desire to exude and image of unity, albeit forced to the public? I get the feeling that most HBCUs began in such a tradition, a united front to educate black youth and empower them. However, as civil rights issues have taken a back seat, that ideology has maybe lost its original meaning. It is inane to prohibit students from accessing the resources of a university just to falsify school unity/pride/whathaveyou. Even if most of the students are on financial aid, whatever amount is being paid to the university out of their pockets is being misused and abused. Another example of this is the tactics used to recruit freshmen — expensive gimmicks and little follow through upon admittance.

    However, I do feel that HBCUs still maintain a great degree of political clout in the academic community. I have a few friends who came out of HBCUs who are in Harvard or other such graduate/professional programs and they seem to have benefited from the networking provided by their HBCU. It’s like the Ivy League system but exclusively for blacks.

    Anyway, I think that HBCUs, regardless of their clout, are outmoded and either those institutions need to be completely overhauled to better address the issues young blacks seeking education face today or they simply need to be shut down. If young blacks are struggling to choose between schools like Cornell where they will be inevitably disadvantaged over Spellman College, where they will be instead highly touted, there is something wrong with the way HBCUs have slipped in rapport.

    MudPhud Girl

    PS — thanks for the link 🙂

    Comment by mudphudhendi | November 5, 2006 | Reply

  2. Hi young black man,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I’d like to address a few things here, and in fact, I am formulating now a response-entry on my own blog on this subject; but for now, I will give you my initial gut reaction:

    Firstly, I would like to say that yes, some HBCU administrations can be viewed as “sell-outs”. The particular campus you speak of should be ashamed of closing their campus off during football games. I would be appalled if my campus did this (I attend an HBCU here in Mississippi). I have no clue as to the administration’s reasoning behind this course of action, thus, I cannot make any judgments against it based solely on this, but I can say that they are playing into the very negative (and erroneous) stereotype about blacks and the lack of importance we place on education.

    Secondly, I would like to say that while yes, white schools do have buildings open and accessible 24/7, HBCU’s rarely have the funding available to provide proper security for those buildings 24/7. I know my school gets about 50% less state funding than white schools (per student). The rest is made up of rising tuition and small, private donations.

    Again, thanks for the comment on my blog.

    Comment by Ice9 | November 6, 2006 | Reply

  3. “HBCUs Administratively, are a bunch of Sell-Outs”
    I personally think that it is too easy and too destructive to lump an experience with 1 institution and generalize it to all 105 institutions. Your post mentions a few exceptions to your rule, but I would think focusing upon and calling to task the leadership of the specific school would be the answer. Lately, it seems that the term HBCU is becoming an adjective to label any and all things dysfunctional in academia. Almost a cynical way to diminish the accomplishments and successes that occur daily on each individual campus. So my question is who did you direct your comments to in the administration of the school and what response did you receive? Have you sent these thoughts to NAFEO?

    Comment by HBCUkidz | December 4, 2006 | Reply

  4. Read the blog “One HBCU is listening to a Young black Man” on this very page.

    This entry was not to diminish the individual sucesses, but to highlight that the administrations on each campus need to improve. The article, with my complaints to the entire board of trustees, does what you say, calling leadership to task. Amazingily, as much as you think we disagree, we are actually in accord.

    Comment by youngblackman | December 9, 2006 | Reply

  5. YOU ROCK!

    Comment by Anita | December 12, 2006 | Reply

  6. i went to a white college, and the campus was racist as hell and the administration and professors were pretty dissmissive of the black student body, no school is perfect, but only we blacks love to air our dirty laundry for what ever reason. After 4.5 years at an SEC school, I had regretted not going to an HBCU at least for the networking and black college football experience. Black peoples biggest problem in running anything is, we dont have the money or the infrastructure white institutions have, stop complaining about and raise the money to fix it, i am sure afro americans spend 1 billion per year on Jordans and Strawberry Sodas, so 13 million for a updated computer systme for tracking registrations and online student bill pay wouldnt be too much to ask? would it?

    Comment by B Diddy | June 3, 2009 | Reply

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