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Black Athletes at HBCUs versus PWIs

By Janese Penegar
On October 10, 2019

Grambling State University— Have you ever stopped to think about how big of a program HBCUs would be if all of the black talent stayed at the black schools?

According to, each year hundreds of thousands of phenomenal black athletes choose to attend white colleges versus black. 

    “I never even went on visits to any HBCUs while in high school,” James Jackson, a senior safety for Louisiana Tech University, said.

“No particular reason, I just never made time to look into any HBCUs.” 

All of Jackson’s school choices were PWIs with not one HBCU on his list of interest. “All of the scholarships offered to me were from PWIs, so those are the schools that I chose from,” said Jackson.

One thing that HBCUs should start to do is bring more advertising and exposure to the institution.

Additionally, HBCUs should reach out to more black athletes and schedule more visits at HBCUs for college according to 

Na’im Geeslin, a sophomore running back at Grambling State University, said, “I visited HBCUs, however I started out at the University of Las Vegas which is a PWI.

Transferring to Grambling State University was one of the hardest yet rewarding things I’ve done so far.”

Each athlete has his or her own personal opinions and reasons for choosing the college they decided to go to.

Often times while in high school, athletes hear so many negative things about HBCUs that they have no interest in even knowing for themselves what each HBCU stands for. 

“The most common thing I heard was how much more successful you could be and how much more you learned at a PWI,” Jackson said.

According to, black colleges actually play an important role in the make up of the black professional class.

HBCUs have produced 80 percent of the black judges, 50 percent of the black lawyers, 50 percent of the black doctors, 40 percent of the black engineers, 40 percent of the black members of Congress, and 13 percent of the black CEOs in America today.    

    “I feel I’ll be more successful graduating from Grambling State University because it’s just a better fit for me,” Geeslin said.

“I feel that there are more opportunities here and at the end of the day, sometimes, it’s who you know and not what you know, and Grambling is a good place to practice your craft and get exposure,”

According to, if HBCUs could attract more of the star black athletes, they would be at the top!

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