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ERIC Number: EJ1120709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Creative Disruption and the Potential of Writing at HBCUs
Lockett, Alexandria; Walker, Sarah Rude
Composition Studies, v44 n2 p172-178 Fall 2016
Intensified visibility of racialized violence in the United States, as it relates to policing and the criminal justice system, raises questions about the purpose and application of higher education. College students all over the world attend school within a striking global portrait of antiracist protest occurring on social media, on their campuses, and in their communities, cities, and nations. Despite the fact that this context obviously draws attention to the relationships among race, racism, and language, many people continue to describe America and other parts of the Western world as "post-racial" (Ikard and Teasley; Orbe; Rich; Tesler; Wise). The term post-racial linguistically cleanses the English language and its cultures from the ethical responsibility of differentiating between a long, continuous history of racism and its ongoing impact on cultural difference. In this article the authors assert that Black students attending HBCUs are especially violated by this colorblind discourse, and struggle with the suggestion that many people wonder about the cultural relevance of HBCUs in a post-racial America. Public figures ranging from the recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to pop-culture talk show host Wendy Williams have doubted and even denigrated the purpose and quality of HBCUs, openly disrespecting black college students for their learning capacities and/or decisions to attend these schools (Laster). The authors argue, however, that such critiques ignore both the benefits of attending HBCUs and the lived realities of today's HBCU students. For example, HBCUs produce more black STEM graduates than any other type of institution nationwide--at least 40% in some science and engineering fields (Owens et al.; Perna et al.). HBCUs significantly diversify historically white graduate and professional programs in STEM fields, as well. According to the National Science Foundation, "About one-third of the 866 Blacks who received doctorates in science and engineering fields in 2006 earned their bachelor's degree from an HBCU" (qtd. in Perna et al.).
University of Cincinnati. Department of English, P.O. Box 210069, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Tel: 513-556-6519; Fax: 513-556-5960; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A