It’s a never-ending debate that will always exist in the Black community: Should Black students attend a university that is filled with other Black students and teachers who will foster their growth as students? Or should Black students attend a PWI (predominately white institution) that may have more opportunities and resources? It’s a debate that will never be won, but still, people continue to argue.
The debate took a heated turn as Black Twitter debated Black culture at PWIs.
The conversation started after a user innocently shared on social media that she created a majorette team at the University of Southern California, a PWI.
In a Tweet, @princesslang0 wrote, “oh nothing… i created a majorette team at a PWI and performed at our first game.”
She continued, “truly though i’m so blessed and can’t thank God enough. Thank you to my parents and to everyone who supported me along this LONG journey. and my girls FYE. The Cardinal Divas of SC are UP NEXT.”
This one harmless tweet stemmed a trending debate on Black culture at PWIs versus at HBCUs. A plethora of Twitter fingers gave their thoughts.
In one corner, we had people argue for HBCUs, saying that if you wanted to create a space where your Black culture could be expressed, then you should’ve just attended an HBCU.
In the other corner, people argued that just because a student decided to attend a PWI doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their own space where they can express themselves.
I tend to think that both sides of the argument can be true. HBCUs are an important part of the community and are integral in fostering a safe space where students can express their Blackness around other Black students. But, Black students at PWIs should not be criticized because they have to create a space for themselves where expressing their Black culture is not looked down upon. They can both exist!
Attending an HBCU does not make you any more Black, attending a PWI does not make you any less Black. There’s not one “true” Black experience in the United States that you have to go through for you to be considered “a part of the community.” Trust me, no matter where you go, you are always going to be considered a Black person. While the experiences may differ, your skin color and heritage are not changing