Our country is in the midst of a reckoning of how it treats its Black citizens, churches, communities, and institutions, including HBCU land-grant universities. Today, these institutions, which lead the nation in educating the next generation of Black scientists and leaders, still face discrimination and hate-filled violence, Yet, the question still remains: Where would the nation be without them? During these troubling times when the nation is divided over how to close inequitable racial gaps in education, income, and wealth, the 1890 institutions are offering hope, teaching new skills, producing the next generation of Black scientists and leaders, and enhancing prosperity for marginalized Black individuals and communities. As the nation struggles with these issues, it should look to the institutions it supports the least to help close these gaps.
Denise Smith, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation