lgbtq+, gender, sexuality, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, education, Black history


In the American South at the turn of the century, quality education was scarce and legislative laws were put in place to ensure that African American individuals remained far away from Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). As a result, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) became a catalyst for change in a “separate but equal” driven society. This article will explore the significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in elevating Black Americans throughout the twentieth century while assessing the conservative nature of the institutions and their inflexibility towards the various nuances of African American communities. While not particular to HCBUs, a tolerance of toxic masculinity and severe conservatism has resulted in starkly different Black experiences for cis-gendered heterosexual men, in contrast to cis-gendered women and other members of the LGBTQ+ community. Investigating various experiences within HBCUs, this article will preface the unifying/uplifting benefits for Black individuals in these institutions, while further exploring the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality in forming a multilayered level of discrimination that, ultimately, white individuals will not experience. The research will strive to analyze and properly convey the various nuanced experiences throughout HCBUs and assess the variety of factors that have led to these underrepresented interactions, including racial discourse, religious underpinnings, extra-curricular activities, and the uprise of Black feminism. This article will give audiences an understanding of how Historically Black Colleges and Universities have previously and continue to reflect American society, further demonstrating their role in various Black communities and their representation of Black intrarelationships throughout the late nineteenth century to the present.

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