WASHINGTON, D. C. (Achieve3000, March 1, 2021). CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. The sounds of Howard University’s drumline echoed off the

WASHINGTON, D. C. (Achieve3000, March 1, 2021). CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. The sounds of Howard University’s drumline echoed off the marble buildings in the United States capital like a ticking clock. The band was escorting Kamala Harris to the White House on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021. Harris is the first woman and woman of color to become vice president of the U. S. She is also the first graduate of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to hold the second-highest office in the land.

“Seeing a woman of color, as well as a HBCU grad, do something as big as go to the [White House] just means so much to me,” Jonell Odom told an ABC TV reporter. Odom is a first-year student at Shaw University, a HBCU in Raleigh, North Carolina.
HBCUs have a special place in the minds and hearts of many Black Americans. Before the 1950s, racist policies and segregation laws in the U. S. made it difficult for Black people to obtain a college education in the U. S. HBCUs provided an educational haven for Black scholars. Today, students continue to find refuge and inspiration at these schools.
HBCU graduates include civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. Scientist and inventor Lonnie Johnson and media mogul Oprah Winfrey also attended HBCUs. For more than 180 years, HBCUs have fostered the abilities and intellects of countless Black scholars. They have also opened doors to every career field. This includes business, law, medicine, mathematics, science, engineering, and the arts.
The history of HBCUs is one of Black determination in the face of bitter, and often brutal, racism. The first colleges to offer higher education to Black scholars were founded before the U. S. Civil War (1861-1865). After the war ended, almost four million enslaved Black people were emancipated. But they were not welcome in schools attended by White Americans. The U. S. Freedman’s Bureau ed establish dozens of institutes. These schools focused on providing Black people with an education. And many of them evolved into today’s HBCUs.
Today, there are 101 HBCUs in the U. S. They serve more than 300,000 students of all races. Degree programs range across the disciplines. Students might study nursing at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Or they might choose mathematics at Savannah State University in Georgia. At Howard in Washington, D. C., they could focus on African Studies.
HBCUs continue to be important in preparing Black scholars for professional careers. More than 80 percent of Black doctors and dentists currently practicing in the U. S. went to a HBCU medical school. And half of all Black teachers in the country graduated from HBCUs.
HBCU scholars often credit the familial community of campus life with providing a sense of identity, safety, and self-sufficiency. This community also promotes excellence in learning. Graduates describe how professors and administrators support and encourage students to overcome challenges.
“That was the beauty of Howard,” Vice President Harris wrote in The Truths We Hold: An American Journey. “Every signal told students that we could be anything—that we were young, gifted, and Black, and we shouldn’t let anything get in the way of our success.”
According to the Article, what is one reason why HBCUs were originally established? Press enter to interact with the item, and press tab button or down arrow until reaching the Submit button once the item is selected
A The U. S. Freedman’s Bureau already had more than 300,000 Black students in dozens of colleges.
B Black scholars were inspired by the familial community on campus that promoted excellence in learning.
C Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for the construction of top colleges for Black students.
D Racist policies and segregation laws in the U. S. made it difficult for Black people to go to existing colleges.

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