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KIMBROUGH, Walter M. Black Colleges Still Play a Vital Role in Education. The Chronicle. 26 de junho 2011. Disponível em: http://chronicle.com/article/Black-Colleges-Still-Play-a/128038/Acesso em 28 de junho 2011.
No seu artigo de opinião, Walter M. Kimbrough, presidente da Philander Smith College relembra sua palestrar na igreja United Mrthodist Waltem, na qual, havia quarenta pessoas brancas na plateia, sendo ele o único negro. Discorreu sobre como é ser presidente e a fé que precisa ter para manter seu trabalho, publicado na revista online The Chronicle, ele falaprincipalmente sobre às HBCUs (Historically black colleges and universities).Na igreja um membro da audiência lhe perguntou “a questão”: as HBCUs não seriam um anacronismo? As HBCUs são alvo de diversas criticas como a de Jason L. Riley que critica pelo The Wal Street Journal, alegando que as HBCUs não são necessárias já que os estudantes negros estão tentando ingressar em universidades tradicionais. E acritica de Richard Vedder que alega se sentir incomodado com instituições baseadas em raça e com o fato de os americanos subsidiarem e promoverem instituições que celebram homogeneidade. Sugere ainda que os americanos repensem o financiamento público do que ele chama de anacronismo do passado. Kimbrough cita questionamentos da esposa, formada em advocacia por uma instituição HBCU, que não compreende aindignação dos críticos sobre as HBCUs e esquecem a segregação na educação K-12. Kimbrough afirma ainda que as HBCUs não é algo do passado, já que a segregação para os filhos negros não é.
Black Colleges Still Play a Vital Role in Education
Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle
By Walter M. Kimbrough
This past May, I was invited to speak to a Sunday-school class at a local UnitedMethodist church. I talked about how being a president is a calling for me, and how I have to exercise a great deal of faith to do my job. I am the president of a United Methodist-affiliated, historically black college, so faith plays a huge role in everything that I do.
I also spoke about the radical transformation of Philander Smith College, including our greatly improved retention rates, graduationrates, and rankings, as well as our focus on social justice. And I talked about my admiration for Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse College when Martin Luther King Jr. was a student there. Mays mentored his students, and I try to connect with mine as he did—through meaningful personal connections.
After my talk, I invited questions, and the group of mostly elderly white men and women hadplenty. They wanted to know more. Then inevitably, toward the end, an audience member asked the question—the one asked, in various ways, of every president of a historically black college or university by people with limited knowledge of black colleges:
Do we still need HBCU's?
In this instance, the audience member phrased his question by asking if HBCU's are a holdover from a previous era, ananachronism incongruent with modern America. I was ready with an answer: I talked about providing options for students, and offering the best fit in order to improve their chances of graduating.
But then I went further and said that even if we eliminated HBCU's, the result would not be greater engagement between races at predominantly white institutions.
Most campuses feature black fraternities andsororities, a black student union, and multicultural-affairs offices. So just because a black student attends a predominantly white college, that doesn't mean he or she will have meaningful interactions with people of other races. In fact, black students can have experiences that are radically different from those of their white peers. I speak from experience, as a graduate of the University of...