Thursday, February 26, 2009

'Black In America' In Charlotte Today

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/26/2009 No comments
CNN is coming to the campus of Johnson C. Smith University today and anchor Don Lemon is hosting a town hall forum. The event is being taped and parts of it will air in CNN's "Black In America 2" series in July, which is a follow-up to last year's acclaimed and controversial specials that depicted the life, shortcomings, and achievements of African-Americans in this country.

Don Lemon will moderate CNN's town hall forum today.

JCSU is an excellent site selection for this forum as it is an historically black college and university (HBCU) that is trying to grow its presence in Charlotte. Many HBCUs are struggling to continue to attract top African-American students and are working hard to lure students of all races. These schools also often face scrutiny as some question the need for them today. I have a simple answer for that: Most black colleges were founded in the mid to late 1800s after the Civil War, during a time when African-Americans couldn't attend white schools, among many other things (both JCSU and Morehouse College in Atlanta were founded in 1867). So by the time most African-Americans began enjoying the results of desegregation in the 1960s, these schools were nearly 100 years old and steeped in tradition. That's not something you simply throw away once you've been accepted into the larger culture.

I'm pretty sure CNN chose this week to come because the CIAA basketball tournament is in town, a conference that has a rich history itself. JCSU is one of ten historically black colleges and universities in the conference and their men and women's basketball teams are competing for the conference championships during five days of games at Time Warner Cable Arena. And unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the CIAA tournament is about much more than basketball.

Today's town hall forum is only open to current students and faculty, but I'm fortunate to be attending. And I'm looking forward to it.


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails