HBCUs should be priority

Pews are packed. Stadiums are filled. Concerts are crowded. But HBCUs face enrollment, graduation and funding problems that could be fixed with the proper involvement.

The money shouldn’t be a factor. The cost of going to college is about a fraction of the tithes a Christian pays in a lifetime and people exponentially earn more than that. The costs of going to athletic events for a lifetime are more than it costs to get a college education.

The cost of applying to college is cheaper than going to your favorite entertainer’s concert. Sadly, black entertainers are worth exponentially more than our entire historically black education system and we are the reasons for this largely uneven investment.

Education is undervalued to money even though it helped make it. Education is wrongfully seen as unnecessary to being equal to others, but it is intrinsic to being a complete success.

We need a yearly HBCU summit for our state to include our governor, education superintendent and HBCU presidents. This will provide a forum for HBCUs to strategically plan their prosperity. The ideas presented during the meeting could be presented to the legislature to be implemented in their agendas.

A lot of HBCUs started before predominantly white institutions but don’t boast the same amount of graduates, endowments and academic programs because of a lack of involvement from the African-American community. Most of HBCUs are religiously affiliated and the churches that sent the first classes of students to HBCUs are still there.

However, the pews remain attended to, but the classrooms that further the sight of God’s blessings aren’t. HBCUs should be a sign of the progression of our country to be equally opportunistic to all people.

Jordan Cooper, Summerville

The loss of a legend

Another giant has passed on. First it was our legendary Eartha Mae Kitt and now it is another legend, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ernest Finney Jr., the first African-American justice in South Carolina.

I once commented that without Finney there would not have been a Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal. I was honored that during my time in South Carolina, I did get to meet and speak to the Supreme Court justice, if only but briefly.

This was when I was working in the Sumter County Courthouse as the head groundskeeper for the Sumter County government. Judge Finney saw me outside with my work crew and invited me into his chambers. He said he was very impressed. Though it was only for a fleeting number of minutes, I am honored, knowing all he did for South Carolina and the world. I offer my deepest condolences with his passing.

Sgt. Sheldon Rice, Columbia

Adults must set better standard

Looking at the conditions of our country and my home state and Orangeburg County I am appalled at the behavior of adults i.e. fighting and sexual harassment. I can't wrap my head around these scandalous actions.

People deal with stressful situations every day. I find it offensive and degrading. Grown folks not thinking before they act. What kind of messages are we sending to our youth?

I am going to take a stab at it. These are directly affecting how most of our classroom and playground fights and disruptions occur. Teachers work diligently to provide a class where students can learn and behave. Disruptive students will assure adults in charge they don't care if their parents know.

Why? Parents are not going to do anything about it. If we're going to move forward as a nation and county it's imperative we, as adults, set the standard by which our children will follow.

We have a lot of great people everywhere. Somehow the bad actions of a few get shuffled to the front. Youngsters see and hear more than we realize.

Ruth Williams, Bronx, N.Y.

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