HBCU - The Civil Rights Movement and HBCUs.Shaw University

The Civil Rights Movement and HBCUs

The 1960’s were a period of social upheaval all over the country. The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement were taking place along side of each other and both were feeding to the hysteria and the changes the country was going through at that time. As African–Americans fought for their equality at home, soldiers, many of which were African – American themselves were fighting against the spread of Communism in Northern Vietnam.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities took up the call when tasked with trying to achieve equality. At Shaw University in Raleigh, NC in 1960, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was founded during a conference of about 300 students. The group, who was founded by Ella Baker quickly moved from sit – in protests to becoming very involved in the Freedom Rides (where activists rode buses into the segregated Southern states), the Albany Movement, and the famous march on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Men weren’t the only people fighting for equality. According to Eddie R. Cole’s article, African American Women at HBCUs During the Civil Rights Movement (Journal of the Indiana University Student Personnel Association), “men led but African American women organized” the movement from 1955–1968. Women provided Civil Rights workers with places to eat and sleep, but also turned out in higher numbers at mass demonstrations and attempted to register to vote more often than men. Unfortunately, women were also subject to the more violent crimes of the day and they were fired from jobs if they were even rumored to be involved in the movement.

Even now to this day, Presidents of HBCUs still stand up for Civil Rights. Norman Francis, the president of Xavier University in Louisiana since 1968 advised President Obama that the major problem in America is not inequality, but inequity. “If the glasses are unequal, we are not going to achieve equality by pouring the same amount of water in each glass. We have to pour the glass of water equitably.”

Francis also believes that we should rethink our priorities when it comes to educating children. That paying professional athletes and celebrities so much money to entertain but we unwilling to pay he people who teach “our precious children” a decent salary is incongruous and we should elevate the teaching profession, make it more desirable monetarily to attract the best and brightest to the profession. It is clear that the struggle for Civil Rights is always ongoing and HBCUs will always be at the forefront.

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Having lived with him in his Chicago home from 2011 to 2013, Jones shares the way the abuse evolved from verbal to physical beginning with an implementation of rules. According to Jones, Kelly would expect her to follow a number of obscure and possessive rules such as, "standing up when he walks into the room," "facing the wall," and "asking permission to use the bathroom."

In addition, Jones shares that she was often expected to have "sex on demand" and would suffer adverse consequences if she did not comply, including being denied food for days at a time.

During the interview, Jones also aligns with Kelly's ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, in her claim that the R&B musician was undoubtedly behind the threats that ultimately evacuated a private screening of the upcoming R.Kelly docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly on Dec. 4.

“I believe it was somebody connected to him," Andrea Kelly told Rolling  Stone. “This was an outside inside-job to me; someone on the outside does not want what’s going on on the inside to be completed. Whoever it came from, they know that this is not a good thing because there’s power in numbers.”

According to reports, those in attendance included the several of Kelly's accusers as well as the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke.

Check out Jones' full interview here.

READ MORE: Andrea Kelly Believes R. Kelly Is Behind Gun Threats At Documentary Screening

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Check out the full list below.

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