Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee are all graduates of historically black colleges and universities. For more than a century, HBCUs provided the foundation for countless dynamic and influential leaders. Now, some academic finance experts predict that a quarter of those schools could be gone within 20 years.
There are nine HBCUs in Georgia. Morris Brown College could make that number increase if they're successful regaining accreditation. They're seeking accreditation nearly a decade after losing it due to a financial mismanagement scandal.
On Second Thought invited race and culture reporter Ernie Suggs to talk about the background and threats HBCUs face. Suggs collaborated with education reporter Eric Sturgis on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution series about the health of HBCUs. They also launched a podcast called HBCU Journeys.
Town and gown tensions are high at the University of Georgia as the end of the school year nears. Amid national conversations about the historical role of U.S. colleges and universities in slavery, community leaders and a group of faculty are calling on UGA to do more to address its own slave past.
But in a letter to the editor of UGA's student newspaper, The Red & Black, UGA president Jere Morehead said the university had "carefully considered all aspects" of a memorial constructed in 2018 to recognize and honor the legacy of individuals who were enslaved in Athens during the 19th century.
On Second Thought spoke about the situation with Red & Black city news editor Sofi Gratas, who's been covering the story. We also heard from University of Alabama professor Hilary Green, who has studied and leads tours about the legacy of slaveryat her university – possibly the first in the country to acknowledge and apologize for its role in slavery in 2004.