Students still need black colleges

We English education students are forced to take classes that teach us how to educate and handle students from diverse backgrounds.

We have to take a course in teaching to students whose native language is not English, 12 credits hours in a foreign language and produce lesson plans that incorporate teacher-friendly ways to communicate with speakers of other languages.

All of this in the name of embracing other cultures-a great notion that should be imposed on other majors.

But as multicultural education and exposure is becoming essential to a well-cultured individual’s well-being, is there still a need for Historically Black Colleges and Universities?

As a student who attends an HBCU, I proudly say, “Yes they are needed and should receive more support and acclaim for producing exemplary professionals.”

If you have forgotten, which I pray you have not, there was a time when we, as minorities, were not afforded a fair and equal education.

In response to this, these colleges and universities were created to give us a ray of hope.

These institutions began producing superb professionals who returned to their communities as positive power players.

More than 150 years after the first HBCU appeared, I am glad to see they still exist and people still see a need for them.

I received admission letters from non-HBCUs, but I chose Florida A&M University because I wanted to be around other minorities who were doing something positive with their lives.

Often referred to as the black experience, FAMU and other HBCUs offer something other colleges and universities cannot give; the ability to be surrounded by people who look like us and are breaking down the stereotypes of minorities everywhere.

Here, at FAMU alone, we have valedictorians, salutatorians, former Student Government Association presidents, leaders of organizations and other outstanding students that are here to better themselves.

It makes my heart smile every time I walk around campus and see productive people whom I can relate to.

Don’t get me wrong. I love diversity. But if you noticed that nine times out of 10 minorities are portrayed in a negative light on television or in the paper, being here would make you happy too.

There is nothing wrong with attending non-HBCUs, but those who chose not to should not be looked down upon.

HBCUs are, and will always, be needed.

Just ask any student here. They will tell you there is nothing like attending an HBCU.

Katrelle Simmons is a junior English education student for Orlando. She can be reached at