What Do Chinese Students Think About HBCUs?

Interviews with international students at Benedict College share a narrative too frequently ignored beyond HBCU communities.

Interviews with international students at Benedict College share a narrative too frequently ignored beyond HBCU communities.

Initially, some of the students were nervous. They had only seen black people through the lens of violence, hip-hop, sports and entertainment.

And then three students found Benedict College in South Carolina. Not Howard, Not Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T or any of our other biggest institutions with global educational ambitions — little private Benedict.

And yet, at that small black school in a small southern town, these students found humanity, compassion and intelligence in black students and faculty. Who knows if they faced administrative challenges they opted not to share, or if the video’s creator filtered out negative responses to the questions of “what do you think about black people, and what do you think about HBCUs?”

In these selective moments, non-black students were willing to share the pride they take in their HBCU, and in living and learning with African Americans. And maybe, there’s a lesson in that for all kinds of people coming from all kinds of communities.

Especially, black folks.