Black Hollywood is Perfect Sample Size for Just How Much HBCUs Matter

Donald Glover got away, but we have a few others.

Donald Glover got away, but we have a few others.

If industries could draw a profit from the general public knowing the names, faces and work of employees, then the country would know that historically black college relevance is far more than an experience of racial comfort and family atmosphere, but a legitimate industrial asset.

Take Black Hollywood for example. Its hard to watch TV or streaming video and not see a promo for a new series that is developed, produced and marketed by black people to black audiences. And not so quietly, HBCUs are staking out public claim to the success of these series, thanks to executives, producers and actors who are meeting a previously undiscovered demand for black content creation.

Howard University

Nicole Bernard — FOX Senior VP of Audience Strategy

Chadwick Boseman — ‘Marshall,’ ‘Black Panther’

Simone Missick — Luke Cage

“You had students who were from all over the world,” Missick said. “You got to be nurtured as a student and not as the black kid in the back of the classroom that maybe didn’t want to speak up. It’s such a rich place to call my alma mater and I’m so proud to be a Bison.”

Bradford Young — ‘Selma,’ ‘Star Wars’

Anthony Anderon — ‘Black-ish’

Taraji P. Henson — ‘Empire’

Florida A&M University

Anika Noni Rose — ‘Power,’ ‘The Quad’

Alcorn State University

Timon Durrett — ‘Queen Sugar’

“It was different at first, coming from a big city like Chicago, but I spent some of the best years of my life at Alcorn. To this day, the guys I hung out with in college are still my best friends. I met some great people at Alcorn and in Mississippi. The southern hospitality was amazing; everywhere I went, I was well taken care of. I loved traveling along the Natchez Trace Parkway, visiting the Windsor Ruins, attending football games and watching the Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite marching band perform. It was a very special time in my life.”

Clark Atlanta University

Kenya Barris — ‘Black-ish’

Imagine if we knew all of the HBCU students and graduates powering Black Hollywood? Better yet, what if we actually knew the names of all of the doctors, scientists, police chiefs, soldiers, social workers, school principals, and community activists around the world with HBCU ties? Imagine if their names and their work carried millions in profit? How different would HBCUs look from angles of professional and philanthropic worth?

Imagine how different black folks would treat HBCUs if graduates who didn’t work on TV or in movies for a living, could captivate as much attention for their impact?

Maybe one day, it will be more than a far-fetched idea for a Black Hollywood ending.