BY JOHN W. HODGE, PH.D., NORTH CAROLINA A&T STATE UNIVERSITY ’90
My father, legendary North Carolina A&T State University Director of Band Johnny B. Hodge Jr., was a 1960 graduate of North Carolina Central University. In addition to meeting the love of his life my mom Brenda there, North Carolina Central prepared him to become an outstanding educator. Dad was always proud to be a graduate of an HBCU.
While obtaining his Ph.D. from The American University in Washington, DC., Dad felt more academically prepared than his peers. Following graduate school, he established himself as one of America’s premiere band directors at North Carolina A&T State University. This would not have been possible without the care, nurturing and encouragement he received as an undergraduate at an HBCU.
Denied the opportunity to attend most predominately white institutions, historically black colleges and universities provided African Americans of his generation as well as subsequent ones, with outstanding educations. They were also trained and prepared to change America for the better. It is an indisputable fact that HBCUs have had a tremendous role in making America a great nation for all people. From the Tuskegee Airmen, to the Civil Rights Movement, HBCUs have served as the birthplace of some of the most important chapters in American history.
My parents were members of a generation of black men and women who studied, protested and worked tirelessly to prove our collective equality. By doing so, they opened the doors of opportunity for future generations.
Greatly influenced by my parents, I, too, attended an HBCU along with both of my sisters, Tia and Nikki. I have built a successful consulting business, and I owe my success to the academic preparation I received at North Carolina A&T.
My father, mother, sisters and I are all a part of the HBCU story.
By collecting and preserving our stories, HBCUstory is sustaining our place in American history. Brick and mortar may crumble, but the stories of our HBCU legends can, should and with our commitment, will last forever.
Success Stories is a collection of testimonials promoting the fourth annual HBCUstory Symposium which will be held on the campus of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas on October 31 – November 1, 2016.