Source: The Outline
Too few people understand just how much the United States owes to historically black colleges and universities — more commonly called HBCUs — and their graduates.
Without HBCUs, there would be no black middle class. And who knows how the course of history would have changed had Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, Toni Morrison, Spike Lee, or any other countless African-American leaders not attended HBCUs?
Today, 24% of STEM degrees earned by African-American students come from HBCUs. What’s more, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, HBCUs graduate 40% of all black members of Congress and black engineers as well as 50% of black lawyers and 80% of black judges.
“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” a new PBS Independent Lens documentary premiering February 19, tells the history of HBCUs for the first time, from their beginnings after the civil war to their present endurance in the U.S.
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson, Jr. — whose past documentaries include “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple,” “The Murder of Emmett Till,” “Freedom Riders,” and “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” — spoke to The Outline via phone about his latest film.
Read the interview at The Outline.
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