I will never forget the first time I used the “T” word in one of my history classes. Now, before I go on to explain what the “T” word is, if you have graduated from a HBCU and taken any course in African American history, you should already be familiar with the term. In fact, you would know that the use of words such as “tribe,” “village,” “Indian,” or other westernized phraseologies that undermine African cultural sensibilities are strictly prohibited.
Across many HBCU departments, students are taught to respect and appreciate culture, society, and the political and educational contributions of peoples of African descent. More important, we are reprogrammed to put away western modes of thinking, seeing, and doing, in exchange for developing an ethnocentric lens for which to view and critique the world.
Whether it was Booker T. Washington in the 1890s or Spike Lee and The Cosby’s in the 1990s, the message is still the same: Black is Beautiful. At HBCUs, students are awakened to Black consciousness. Here are Seven (shout out to the Jewels) books I believe truly awakens the spirit to Black pride.