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A History of Columbia HBCUs

Hey, Cola. Today we are going on a historical journey to take a deep dive into HBCUs, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We’re going all the way back to HBCUs’ first ties to South Carolina, so let’s get started. 

What is an HBCU? 

The term + acronym first came from the Higher Education Act of 1965when federal funding was expanded to all universities and colleges. According to the Act, an HBCU is defined as “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education.” However, the first HBCU was established long before this act was passed. 

Originally, HBCUs provided a liberal arts education and trained students for careers as teachers or ministers, while others prepared students for industrial or agricultural occupations. 

The creation of these colleges and universities was important since many black students were denied admission to traditionally white colleges + universities. HBCUs also hold cultural significance as they provide a place where students can explore their cultural identity

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