TMSF President, Veteran Journalist Chronicle
History of Black Colleges in New Book
Trying to gain a better understanding of historically Black colleges and universities when he became president of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund in 1999, Dwayne Ashley couldn’t find anything that had been written about HBCUs that was comprehensive.
“You’ve got all these scholarly books that talk about managing the university, managing an HBCU, and those kind of things. But none of the books really covered the history of the institutions,” Ashley says. “I thought maybe this has a lot to do with why a lot of young people don’t realize the historical role HBCUs have played in developing leaders who guide our country, who guide businesses in America today and are really some of the major superpowers in this country.”
So Ashley, along with journalist Juan Williams, author of the best-selling book Eyes On the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 and the critically acclaimed biography Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, decided to write a book chronicling the history of each of America’s 108 HBCUs. Due out in November, I’ll Find A Way Or Make One: A Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2004) is filled with photos, historical narrative, personal memoir, and archival and contemporary material.
“People are going to be amazed to find out that there could have been an HBCU in Boston and Connecticut, and the people who worked to try to get those schools started — and even though they never took off, it’s just wonderful history that people don’t know about,” Ashley says.
All royalties from the sales of the book will be paid to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.
— By Hilary Hurd Anyaso
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com