Episode 133: Exploring Louisiana’s Historically Black Universities
In the years prior to the passage of the federal Civil Rights Bill, the responsibility of offering higher education to Black students went to a few segregated universities. After the bill passed the doors were open and Black students were allowed to apply to any of the state’s other universities. Still, though legally integrated, the once all Black universities maintained a mission providing, what some in the Black community was better social and educational environments. Consisting in Louisiana of the Southern University system (with campuses in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and a Baton Rouge law school); plus, under the separate University of Louisiana system Grambling University, each is a state-run facility. There are also two private universities, Dillard and Xavier, in New Orleans. All those schools are collectively referred to as HBCU, Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
An extended exhibit at the Capitol Park Museum, a division of the Louisiana State Museum, has opened in Baton Rouge to tell the stories of the struggles and successes of the schools. Michael McKnight, Deputy Director of Louisiana State Museums, and Rodneyna Hart, the museum’s director, join Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde, along with podcast producer Kelly Massicot to talk about the history of the HBCU.