Holding the number one spot for the state with the most HBCUs, Alabama has decided to recognize the years of excellence and hard work of HBCUs by designating October as HBCU Month. In 1867, Alabama State University became the first HBCU in Alabama, which means, for 155 years, HBCUs in Alabama have been cultivating students into world leaders. In addition, thousands of students attend schools such as Talladega College, Alabama A&M University, and Bishop State Community College, not only for their exceptional educational experiences but also for the rich history of these institutions.
While we celebrate the acknowledgment and impact of HBCUs, we must also realize the challenges HBCUs often face—one of them being lack of funding. Although the month designation is ok—providing more equitable funding to HBCUs would be better. History has shown us that HBCUs are typically underfunded at the state and federal levels, yet HBCUs always find ways to excel. Now, imagine the heights HBCUs and their communities would reach if the state and the federal government allocated equitable funding and investments for HBCUs at the same rate as other institutions.
So what does Alabama designating October as HBCU Month mean? We’re not exactly sure, but what we would love to see is increased funding for HBCUs.