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10 Important Facts About The Extraordinary Influence Of HBCUs In America


The news about Historically Black Colleges and Universities tends to cover their financial struggles. A recent tweet by Dr. KaNisha L. Hall reminds everyone of the excellence that has come from HBCUs.

The board-certified anesthesiologist, who attended Howard University, posted a Twitter thread that began with “You know I got something to say!!! 4 HBCU Medical Schools graduate more black MDs than all 144+ medical schools in this entire country EVERY YEAR! Howard Meharry Morehouse Charles R. Drew Soon to add Xavier!”

Here are 10 important facts about the extraordinary influence of HBCUs in America.

1. HBCUs: Engineering Engine

HBCUs have produced 40 percent of all Black engineers, according to a report by the White House entitled “A Proclamation on National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2022.” Just 3.3 percent of all engineers in the U.S. are Black; 71.7 percent are white, according to employment platform Zippia.

In industrial engineering, the median annual salary for Black people in the field is $78,000.

2. HBCUs: Legal Powerhouses

According to the White House’s proclamation, 50 percent of all Black lawyers in America attended HBCUs. Black lawyers made up 4.5 percent of the profession in 2022, according to the American Bar Association’s Profile of the Legal Profession, an annual report on diversity in the legal profession.

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3. HBCUs: Is there a Black doctor in the house?

Some 70 percent of Black doctors in the country attended an HBCU, according to the White House. Among active physicians in the U.S., 56.2 percent identified as white, 5 percent identified as Black or African American in 2018, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

4. HBCUs: Order in the court

The White House proclamation also noted that 80 percent of Black judges are alumni of HBCUs. Some 5.5 percent of all judges in the U.S. are Black people; 79.6 percent are white, according to Zippia.

5. HBCUs: Teacher, teacher

HBCU grads also include 50 percent of Black public school teachers, reported Overall, 10.1 percent of public school teachers are Black teachers, according to Zippia.

6. HBCUs: STEM pipeline

HBCUs are the institution of origin for almost 30 percent of Black graduates of science and engineering doctorate programs, according to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

7. HBCUs: Notable grads

There have been a number of notables who have graduated from HBCUs. Among them are: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (Howard University), Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam (Winston-Salem State University), former mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms (Florida A&M University), singer Toni Braxton (Bowie State University), filmmaker Spike Lee (Morehouse College), civil rights legend Rev. Jesse Jackson (North Carolina A&T State University), R&B legend Gladys Knight (Shaw University), actress and choreographer Debbie Allen (Howard University), singer and songwriter Roberta Flack (Howard University), actor Samuel L. Jackson (Morehouse College), hip-hop artist David Banner (Southern University), retired pro basketball player Charles Oakley (Virginia Union University), radio host Tom Joyner (Tuskegee University), novelist and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison (Howard University), Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed (Howard University), politician Stacey Abrams (Spelman College)

Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court attended Howard University. The late scholar and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People W.E.B. DuBois attended Fisk University. Althea Gibson, the first African-American Tennis Player to Win Wimbledon, French and U.S. Open Titles, graduated from Florida A&M University. Revered playwright Langston Hughes went to Lincoln University. John Thompson, the first African-American Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, went to Florida A&M University. Oprah Winfrey attended Tennessee State University.

8. HBCUs: Lower cost and less debt

According to the UNCF, the average cost of attending an HBCU is 27 percent less than a comparable predominantly white institution, HBCU First reported.

9. HBCUs: Black have higher graduation rates

HBCU students are also 6-16 percent more likely to graduate than minority students enrolled at predominantly white institutions.

10. HBCUs: Economic impact

HBCU grads generate $14.8 billion in economic impact annually, Forbes reported.


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