HBCU or PWI: It’s your choice

Dear white people, if only you loved us as much as you loved our culture. 

Let’s talk about race! Racism at PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions) is real too! 

I can only imagine that black students there have it worse, but do the students from a HBCU really feel for them?   

Yarica Charleston

Yarica Charleston

Maybe we do because they are our people; maybe we don’t because the blacks at a PWI don’t feel for us. They talk about our (their) HBCUs, but don’t realize that when they get to that PWI, they form groups that support “the cause” and try to get rid of the racism that they face on a daily basis. 

Only because that makes sense, right? Of course it doesn’t! 

Why would you go and talk against the one thing that was built for you, by you. 

But let’s not get this story misconstrued; I am not talking against my people, nor am I saying that we should not feel for the black students at PWIs. 

There are struggles everywhere, and the racism at primarily white institutions is sometimes worse. Let’s think back to what just recently happened at the University of Oklahoma, and also remember the term “blackface,” don’t forget about that. 

So, if you knew that these things happen at a primarily white institution, why attend one? Why attend something built for your oppressors, by your oppressors? 

Go where the support is real.

Yes, I understand that maybe we don’t have the funding that we need at times, but one thing that one must realize is that at an HBCU you make do with what you have! 

When your iPhone doesn’t have the updated iOS, do you give up? No, you keep pushing and make sure that the emojis in your phone suffice for the conversation you are having. 

So not to say that racism at PWIs isn’t real. I just feel like it could be cut out if we didn’t support their universities with our money and supported our own universities with our money. 

The university that is built on the backs of our grandfathers and his father. The universities that only had 20 desks to a classroom at a time when it was first built. 

Support the university that is right down the street from Louisiana Tech — Dear Ol’ Grambling State University. Stop going on Twitter and having PWI vs. HBCU debates because at the end of the day there are  pros and cons to both, but the pro that both share is a degree. Stop comparing my GPA to your PWI GPA. School is only as hard as you make it; therefore, arguing about a GPA will do nothing but keep us in the same predicament we’ve been in.

Arguing about silly things holds us back. Arguing about a GPA, or how hard a class is, that’s just like talking about skin color, hair texture, and the other prejudices we face within our community. 

Maybe we do face the same struggles a black student at a PWI faces; we are the cause of them. We have created so many prejudices and categories among ourselves that we have turned education into one.


Yarica Charleston is a senior mass communication major from Fort Worth, Texas.