When black people weren’t allowed at the table we have always created our own from inventions, neighborhoods and even colleges. Historically Black College Universities or HBCU play a vital role in the advancement of the African American community, HBCUs created more doctors, lawyers, and educators than most of our counterparts. Howard being veered as the oldest and one of the most prestigious HBCU have produced some amazing people that have shaped our world today, however Texas Southern University located in the heart of Houston, TX in the historically 3rd Ward community is the second largest HBCU in the nation, has one of the best law schools, and has seen its fair share of history making moments from hosting the Democratic Debate in 2019, being in the forefront of legal battles for the education of black people, and continuing to fight for those that can’t fight for themselves. We spoke to three leading tigers about why HBCUs are important to them

Adonis Warren, 2019-2020 Mr. Texas Southern University, a Senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism transplanted from Los Angeles, CA.

Toria Nicole Porter a Senior from Ft. Worth, TX she’s an Education major.

Lastly, Khaniya Burley the 73rd elect SGA President of Texas Southern University she’s a native from Buffalo, NY transplanted by way of Dallas, TX a junior majoring in Biology had a vision of attending a HBCU and keeping their legacy alive.

What does HBCU mean to you?

A family, Historically Black Colleges and Universities were built to provide education for African Americans during a time when we were not allowed to sit in certain buildings or use the same bathrooms as our constituents. HBCUs stood as safe havens for black students to excel as well as have a family atmosphere they could rely on to help immerse them in their careers as well as our culture.

Why are HBCUs important?

HBCUS are important because they carry our culture. As a African American student, spending four years at an HBCU will not only teach you more about yourself, but it teaches you about our ancestors before us who paved the way so we could live the lives we live now. Attending a PWI may gain you the recognition, But an HBCU sets you up for life.

As an SGA President what do you plan to do to bridge the gap between HBCUs?

I plan to stay connected with my fellow HBCU Presidents as well as learn from each other in times when we face similar issues. During a crisis like the one the world is facing right now. It’s important for us to lean on each other and utilize our network. Building a bond between other HBCUs is important because it’s like your growing your family network. Some of the people you will meet you might know for the rest of your life and that’s the beauty of it all. And Family always looks out for family. 

Who is Khaniya Burley?

Madam Burley is a worker, she is an individual who is persistent and headstrong. She leads with a genuine spirit and always executes what’s best for her student body as well as her campus. 

Being an SGA at a HBCU HOW does it differ from SGA presidents at your white counterparts? 

Being SGA President at an HBCU is different in the sense that I know my campus and my campus knows me. I feel as though that holding a position like this or any other major leadership role on a PWI campus is minuscule compared to the importance of being A leader at an HBCU. Our responsibilities and workload is something similar to working as an administrator. At an PWI campus it’s almost as if they are just place holders there to show face and carry out busy work. However, I have seen various SGA Admins at PWIs work just as diligent and have the same responsibilities, but i don’t think it will ever be on the same scale of where HBCUs hold importance to these positions and their roles.

This feature was submitted by Ryan Barker

Ryan Barker a senior majoring in Radio/Television/Film from Texas Southern University. Ryan has been in the entertainment industry for a few years he’s also a game celebrity stylist & boutique owner from Houston, TX.