Historically Rooted, Future Focused
Founded in 2012 as a non-profit in the State of Tennessee, HBCUstory has for nearly three years served as an advocacy initiative with a mission to, “preserve, present and promote inspiring stories of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community’s past and present, for our future.” HBCUstory’s goals are three-fold: first, to curate — popularizing existing historical and contemporary facts about HBCUs; second, to cultivate — to encourage new and groundbreaking research on HBCUs; and finally, to distribute — to develop a respected publication and promotional platform to launch discourse and share new ideas.
The number of institutions holding the HBCU designation.
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania founded as “Institute for Colored Youth.”
Shaw University becomes the first HBCU in the South.
Fisk Jubilee Singers introduce the Negro Spirituals to the world.
It seems like just yesterday that HBCUstory was a blog with just four posts, all by me—seriously, that’s how we started. Now, more than 300,000 views and nearly 200 globally shared stories later, HBCUstory’s digital footprint and advocacy efforts have grown to include: the HBCUstory Symposium, the Storyteller Awards, and The Journal of HBCU Research + Culture. Whether you know it or not, you’re helping us to write this beautiful thing we call the HBCU story too. Like us, you hold fond memories of administrators, faculty, staff and fellow alumni—of people who believed in us and made us believe in ourselves. And we who believe in the mission and vision of HBCUs must leverage our HBCU stories as more than mere memories. Our memories must serve as compelling evidence for the future of these institutions as educational, cultural and social treasures. We’re making HBCU memories matter.
— Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D., Executive Editor
Why We Do, What We Do
Our mission | To preserve, present, and promote inspiring stories of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community’s past and present, for the future. Our vision | A nation where HBCUs survive and thrive. Our mantra | Inspired by her life and work, it is a quote of civil and human rights activist and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University alumna Patricia Stephens Due, ‘65.
“Stories live forever. Storytellers don’t.”
THE HBCUSTORY SYMPOSIUM
Offering open-access to academicians and practitioners, the HBCUstory Symposium is the first of its kind for the nation’s HBCUs. The symposium’s collection of scholarly research and case studies outline the historic and contemporary value of HBCUs, and convenes expert voices in areas of history; information science; STEAM; fundraising and development; partnerships and mergers, student persistence and retention; diversity and inclusion (LBGTQ, women studies); as well as athletics and wellness.
THE JOURNAL OF HBCU RESEARCH + CULTURE (HBCUR+C)
The success of the HBCUstory Symposium was the fulfillment of a dream to afford members of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community an opportunity to present their research. The symposium was the first step in a two-part plan to provide a compelling counter-narrative to the negative perceptions of HBCUs so pervasive in the public sphere. In keeping with the academic mantra “publish or perish,” we proudly introduce The Journal of HBCU Research + Culture (HBCUR+C). An interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, HBCUR+C publishes a wide-range of scholarly articles relating to the nation’s HBCUs.
THE STORYTELLER AWARDS
Each year, it is our great privilege to honor outstanding members of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community who have left an indelible mark on the HBCU family. Their incredible legacies, are a lamp unto our paths as we seek to advance the mission and curate our visions for HBCUs in the twenty-first century. The Storyteller of the Year Legend Award is presented to a member of the HBCU community, who contributes to its renown through their ongoing work. The Storyteller of the Year Legacy Award is posthumously presented to a member of the HBCU community who died between annual award announcements. The Storyteller of the Year Legend Emeritus/Emerita Award is presented to a member of the HBCU community whose contributions are singular in size and scope.
An interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, HBCUR+C publishes a wide-range of scholarly articles relating to the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Released in Spring 2016, the inaugural issue features an introduction to the founding editorial board, HBCU-related art, and articles on HBCU board leadership, history, partnerships, and sports.