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Legacy Builders: Famous HBCU Alumni Who Redefined Success


Celebrating the lasting impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) since the mid-1800s, an article by The Root underscores their vital role in educating and empowering Black students. The achievements of famous HBCU alumni, including CEOs and award-winning actors, further emphasize the profound and enduring legacy of healing uplift that these institutions provide.


Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played a pivotal role in educating and empowering Black students since the mid-1800s. The enduring legacy of these institutions is exemplified through the remarkable achievements of their alumni. Among the notable individuals who have made significant contributions are:

Wanda Sykes (Hampton University, Class of 1986): Emmy award-winning actress and comedian who worked as a contracting specialist for the National Security Agency before heading to Hollywood. She pledged the Gamma Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Booker

T. Washington (Hampton University Alum): He graduated from Hampton University and went on to found Tuskegee, building on the knowledge he gained at Hampton.

Lionel Richie (Tuskegee Institute, Class of 1974): Graduated with a degree in economics and contributed to the formation of the legendary funk group The Commodores during his time at Tuskegee.

Kamala Harris (Howard University, Class of 1986): Considers her time at Howard University as formative, attributing her love for politics to her on-campus experience. She announced her run for president on Howard's campus in 2019.

Chadwick Boseman (Howard University, Class of 2000): The late "Black Panther" actor earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts, returning to address the Class of 2018 despite battling Stage III colon cancer.

Tips / Thought-starters

  • Celebrating Diversity in Education: HBCUs showcase the importance of providing diverse educational opportunities, fostering environments where Black students can excel academically and personally.

  • Long-Term Impact of Education: The success of HBCU alumni exemplifies the transformative power of education, illustrating how college experiences continue to shape lives and professional journeys.

Key Questions/Next Steps

  • Exploring Diverse Educational Options: Consider the value of educational institutions that prioritize diversity and inclusivity. How might such an environment contribute to personal and professional growth?

  • Reflecting on the Long-Term Impact of Education: Reflect on personal educational journeys and how those experiences have influenced lives. What enduring lessons from college or university years continue to shape decisions and accomplishments?

  • Resource: check out helpful items here today for to support your own uplifting creativity within Hip Hop and your best life.



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