The Living Legacy: Black Colleges in the 21st Century

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Students at Howard University graduation, class of 2015.

Before the civil rights movement, African Americans were largely barred from white-dominated institutions of higher education. So black Americans and their white supporters founded their own schools, which came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HBCU graduates helped launch the civil rights movement, built the black middle-class, and staffed the pulpits of black churches and the halls of almost every black primary school before the 1960s.

But after desegregation, some people began to ask whether HBCUs had outlived their purpose. Yet for the students who attend them, HBCUs still play a crucial -- and unique -- role. In this documentary from American RadioWorks, hear first-person testimony from students about why they chose an HBCU and travel to an HBCU that's in the process of reinventing itself wholesale.


  • Saturday, August 5 at 6am on 93.9FM/NJPR
  • Saturday, August 5 at 2pm on AM 820
  • Saturday, August 5 at 9pm on NJPR
  • Sunday, August 6 at 8pm on AM 820 and 93.9FM

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