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Moment of Clarity: Howard’s Challenge

Andrew Jones is a senior legal communications major.

Andrew Jones is a senior legal communications major.

Consider our past; Howard has long been associated with leadership in black politics, business, fashion, entertainment, and religion. In the predictable future, it will continue to be; yet that association is the greatest threat to the university. To be clear, I am not minimizing the importance of Howard’s legacy in American history, or within the African-American community. I openly question the importance of Howard’s future legacy within the global community.

The legacy of an institution should be reflective of its past as well as indicative of its future. Howard’s biggest problem is that its legacy falls alarmingly short of future global relevancy.

In the past, there was a clear need for a university to educate black leaders for the black community. However, with increased globalization and opportunity for blacks at other universities, the clarity of that need has diminished. The threat, then, is that a Howard solely identified with producing black leaders is simply not competitive with institutions identified with producing global leaders of all colors. Thurgood Marshall went to Howard because Maryland’s law school was all white. Stokely Carmichael’s radical rhetoric as a student leader would not have been tolerated anywhere but Howard. Those famous people who we identify our legacy with likely came to Howard because there was not opportunity elsewhere.

What is to keep the future leaders attracted to Howard in a competitive educational environment? Here’s a hint, it won’t be memories of the past, the best homecoming, or the most fashionable students. Get it together Howard; let’s build a new global legacy.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Blackscholar permalink
    November 4, 2009 5:51 am

    This misguided student is a definitive testament to the effectiveness and strength of White racism to him believe that HBCUs are no longer necessary now that we have President Barack “the empty suit” Obama in the White House. In fact, you would never hear any White students from the Traditionally White Institutions(TWIs) or any Jewish students saying that we no longer need UCLA, Michigan, or Jeshiva University and that they should attend an HBCU in order to better understand or relate to Black in White corporate America.

    Blacks are the only ethnic group in this country that uses individual success as the model. Whereas, every other ethnic group in this country uses “group success” as the model. Until native born Blacks stop trying to “over assimilate into the larger White society, “we” will continue to be the fuel for every other ethnic group to get rejuvenated by and directly/indirectly control our thoughts, ideas, and our estimated $800 billion dollars.

    In sum, it doesn’t matter if you receive a BA,MA,MBA, or even a Ph.D. from a TWI in 2009, live in super-majority White enclave, play a few rounds of golf at some exclusive country club, you’ll still be a treated as a’Third Class” citizen if you admit it or not.

    Shalom!

  2. Grace Virtue permalink
    February 2, 2010 10:17 pm

    Andrew, I applaud you for having the guts to put the issue squarely on the table. When next you are in my office, stop by so I can get your autograph. It is voices like yours that will ultimately save Howard from itself. Bravo!

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