Many minority workers had a essential hand in building the infrastructure of the United States of America- as well as it's college and universities. Is it too much to ask for a great experience at these institutions? Rate your PWI experience today! But first let's have a quick history lesson on being #BlackOnCampus .... in the 1800's.
1850: Harvard Medical School accepts its first three black students, one of whom was Martin Delany. But Harvard later rescinds the invitations due to pressure from white students.
1869: Mary Ann Shadd Carey becomes the first black woman student to enroll at Howard University’s law department. She does not graduate until 1884 at the age of 61.
1870: Harvard College graduates its first black student, Richard Theodore Greener, who goes on to a career as an educator and lawyer. After graduating from Harvard, Greener becomes a faculty member at the University of South Carolina. He is the first known black to be hired to the faculty of a flagship state university. He would later become dean of the Howard University School of Law.
1870: James Webster Smith is the first black student admitted to West Point, though he does not graduate. He is court-martialed and expelled. He was commissioned posthumously in 1997.
1874: Patrick Francis Healy, a former slave who passed for white, is named president of Georgetown University, the first black at any predominantly white higher education institution in the United States.
1877: Inman Page, a former slave, is elected student body president at Brown University. He is believed to be the first black to be elected student body president at any of the nation’s highest-ranked and predominantly white universities.
1877: Henry Ossian Flipper, a former slave, becomes the first black man to graduate from West Point. Flipper was subsequently court-martialed and driven out of the Army on trumped-up charges of embezzlement. He was pardoned posthumously in 1999.
1892: Robert Robinson Taylor is the first black to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent more than 40 years on the faculty of the Tuskegee Institute and designed most of the campus’ buildings.
BY 1900: More than 2,000 blacks have earned higher education degrees by this time, approximately 390 from white colleges and universities. There are now 78 black colleges and universities in the United States. With the 1900's come Brown v. Board of Education, fraternities and sororities, and chemical engineering degrees. Fast-Forward to 2015... literally 115 years later....
2015: On November 9, 2015, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned after months of persevering protest against his mishandling of racist incidents.
My next thought questioned whether or not President Wolfe's behavior an anomaly? And for that matter, where are the awesome PWI Presidents that stan for students of color on campus? Every so often, another blunder of racism gains publicity and shapes popular opinion. Meanwhile, we must ask ourselves: What is my PWI experience and does it affect my success?
Does the racial climate on campus affect the graduation rate at PWI? I'm curious. According to the Department of Education Data:
"Of students who entered college in 2005, the most recent data available, 62 percent of whites got a degree within six years, versus 40 percent of blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics"
On a personal note: Just recently, I gave a tour to a prospective student at my own PWI university and shocked myself at the volume of information I could offer concerning my "Black experience" at my Predominately White Institution and just how it can affect his college career. While I had many positive points to make about my university, I also voiced my concerns. Many students of color that have fantastic experiences! Right?
How would the average student of color truly rate his or her institution and Administration? Tell me YOUR PWI experience in the short quiz or the comment section below.
PS: Stay tuned for the Top PWI Universities for students of color January 2016