SPECIAL EDITION: EDUCATION IN AMERICA

With Long Island’s minority student population at over 40%, why are only 8% of its educators people of color? We continue our examination of teacher diversity in Nassau and Suffolk counties. High school students and their parents face enormous stress in the race to get accepted to the university of their dreams. We’re breaking down the myths and realities for those who are college-bound. We’re taking a look at the story of historically black colleges and universities and their impact on American history, culture and national identity.

Aired on October 17, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' SPECIAL EDITION, EDUCATION IN AMERICA.

FIRST UP, THE DIVERSITY DISPARITY.

WITH LONG ISLAND'S STUDENT POPULATION OVER 40%, WHY ARE EIGHT PEOPLE OF COLOR?

WE CONTINUE OUR INVESTIGATION.

COLLEGE HOPES AND WORRIES.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS FACE ENORMOUS STRESS IN THEIR STRUGGLE TO GET ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF THEIR DREAMS.

JUST AHEAD, WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT MATTERS AND WHAT DOESN'T IN THE RACE FOR SCHOLASTIC SUCCESS.

AND TELL THEM WE ARE RISING.

IN A MOMENT THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND THE IMPACT THEY HAVE HAD ON AMERICAN HISTORY, CULTURE, AND NATIONAL IDENTITY.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> LONG ISLAND'S PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS INCREASINGLY LOOK LESS AND LESS LIKE THEIR STUDENTS.

THAT ACCORDING TO A RECENT STUDY BY HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY THAT HAS PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE LACK OF MINORITY TEACHERS ACROSS NASSAU AND SUFFOLK COUNTIES.

MINORITIES COMPRISED 8% OF THE REGION'S WORK FORCE TRAILING THE STATE AND NATIONAL AVERAGES.

AND IN ONE OF THE STUDY'S MOST TROUBLING FINDINGS MORE THAN 60% OF SCHOOLS DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHER AND MORE THAN 40% DID NOT HAVE ANY LATINO TEACHERS.

MORE THAN 212,000 STUDENTS OF ALL RACES IN ETHNICITIES NEVER SAW A BLACK INSTRUCTOR IN THEIR SCHOOLS.

130,000 STUDENTS NEVER HAD A LATINO TEACHER IN THEIR BUILDING.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING WHAT CAN BE DONE?

JOINING ME NOW IS BRANDY SCOTT, A FORMER ASSISTANT SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT IN NORTH BABYLON AND CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE LONG ISLAND BLACK EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION, AN ORGANIZATION WHICH PARTICIPATED IN THE STUDY.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

HELLO.

THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME.

MY PLEASURE.

FIRST OF ALL, TELL US ABOUT THE STUDY AND YOUR GROUP'S INVOLVEMENT IN IT.

WELL, HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY DECIDED TO DO THE STUDY ON DIVERSITY A YEAR OR SO AGO.

THEY REACHED OUT TO THE LONG ISLAND ASSOCIATION TO HELP THEM IN THE STUDY AS FAR AS GATHERING TEACHERS TO SPEAK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR ROLES IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM ON LONG ISLAND AND ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES.

ALSO, HOFSTRA REACHED OUT TO THE NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT TO GATHER STATISTICS IN REGARDS TO THE STUDY.

WE FIND THE STUDY WAS VERY COMPELLING AND AS ORGANIZATIONS WE FOUND THAT THE STUDY VERIFIED WHAT WE HAD KNOWN ALL ALONG, AND THAT WAS THAT SEGREGATION WAS A VERY REAL ISSUE IN EDUCATION HERE ON LONG ISLAND.

SO WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC FINDINGS OF THE STUDY THAT YOU FOUND PARTICULARLY SIGNIFICANT?

I THINK THE MOST DISTURBING FIGURE THAT WE FOUND WAS THAT THERE ARE OVER 35% OF THE BUILDINGS ON LONG ISLAND DID NOT HAVE ANY TEACHERS OF COLOR WHETHER THEY WERE AFRICAN-AMERICAN OR LATINO.

WE FOUND THAT VERY DISTURBING.

THAT MEANT THOSE STUDENTS WOULD NEVER HAVE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE OTHER THAN A WHITE TEACHER DURING THEIR ENTIRE EDUCATIONAL CAREER, K THROUGH 12.

NOW, I ALSO, CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, THE STUDY ALSO FOUND THAT THE SHARE OF BLACK TEACHERS ACTUALLY WENT DOWN OVER THE LAST DECADE FROM 3.4% TO 2.9%. WHY?

THAT HAPPENED FOR MANY REASONS.

FIRST OF ALL, MANY AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHERS DECIDED IN THE LAST DECADE OR SO TO MOVE FROM THE CLASSROOM INTO SUPERVISORY POSITIONS.

ALSO INTO ADMINISTRATION.

ALSO, A LARGE NUMBER OF TEACHERS DECIDED TO RETIRE IN THE LAST 15 YEARS.

AND, LASTLY, WE DID LOSE QUITE A FEW TEACHERS TO OTHER CAREERS THAT WERE PAYING BETTER.

SO A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION.

WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO STUDENTS OF COLOR OF HAVING TEACHERS THAT DON'T LOOK -- THAT LOOK LIKE THEM, AND WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO WHITE STUDENTS OF HAVING TEACHERS THAT DO NOT LOOK LIKE THEM?

TEACHERS ARE ROLE MODELS.

AS A TEACHER, YOU SPEND SOMETIMES MORE TIME WITH THAT STUDENT THAN THEIR PARENTS.

YOU INFLUENCE THAT STUDENT NOT JUST ACADEMICALLY, BUT ALSO SOCIALLY.

YOU ALSO INFLUENCE THEM IN THAT THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE FROM ANOTHER CULTURE OR ETHNIC GROUP.

THEREFORE, IT'S A BENEFIT TO JUST NOT JUST MINORITY STUDENTS, BUT ALSO NON-WHITE STUDENTS TO HAVE A TEACHER OF COLOR.

SO YOU HAVE MENTIONED IN THE PAST THAT MANY WHITE TEACHERS NEVER HAD CONTACT WITH TEACHERS OF COLOR DURING THEIR OWN EDUCATION.

HOW DOES THAT IMPACT HOW THEY TEACH A CLASS FULL OF MINORITY STUDENTS?

WELL, LET'S LOOK AT IT THIS WAY.

IF YOU HAVE GONE TO A SYSTEM K THROUGH 12 WHERE YOU HAVE NOT SEEN OR HAD THE PLEASURE OF HAVING A MINORITY TEACHER AND YOU MAY EVEN GO TO COLLEGE, BY THE WAY, AND NOT HAVE A PROFESSOR OF COLOR, AND THEN YOU COME INTO A DISTRICT WHERE YOU HAVE TO RELATE TO ALL STUDENTS, THOSE OF COLOR AND WHITE STUDENTS, OFTEN UNKNOWINGLY YOUR IMPLICIT BIASES WILL INFLUENCE YOUR DECISIONS IN THE CLASSROOM.

FOR EXAMPLE, YOU MIGHT TEACH A LESSON ON SLAVERY FROM A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE, OR, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU MAY TAKE THE BEHAVIOR OF A MINORITY MALE AS BEING AGGRESSIVE WHEREAS A WHITE MALE MIGHT HAVE DONE THE SAME TYPE OF BEHAVIOR BUT YOU MAY NOT TAKE IT AS AN ACT OF AGGRESSION.

THAT MAY RESULT IN HAVING THAT MINORITY MALE SENT TO THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE AND DISCIPLINED.

ALSO, IT MAY AFFECT YOUR ABILITY TO, SHALL WE SAY, LOOK AT THE STUDENT FAIRLY WHEN IT COMES TIME TO RECOMMEND THEM TO ADVANCED PLAINS.

CLASSES BECAUSE YOUR EXPECTATIONS MAY NOT BE THE SAME FOR A CHILD OF COLOR THAN FOR A NON-WHITE STUDENT.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO CREATE MORE DIVERSITY AMONG TEACHERS?

FIRST OF ALL, THEY NEED TO REACH OUT TO THE COLLEGES THAT HAVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND THEY NEED TO, WHILE THE STUDENTS ARE IN THOSE PROGRAMS, GIVE THEM OPPORTUNITIES TO INTERN IN THEIR SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

I THINK ALSO SCHOOL BOARDS AND DISTRICTS NEED TO REACH OUT TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT ACTUALLY MENTOR TEACHERS OF COLOR.

AND I THINK IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS TODAY TO EMBRACE THE 2019 NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF REGENTS' INITIATIVE CALLED CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE SUSTAINING EDUCATION THAT IS GOING TO SUPPORT THE HIRING OF MINORITY TEACHERS AND IS ALSO GOING TO GIVE FUNDS IN 2020 TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS SO THEY CAN HAVE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR THE NEW TEACHERS AND ALSO FOR THE EXISTING STAFF.

THAT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT THEY EMBRACE THIS INITIATIVE.

SO THESE ARE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND SCHOOL BOARDS.

WHAT CAN THE STATE DO?

WHAT MORE CAN THEY DO IT TRY TO RECRUIT MINORITY TEACHERS?

I THINK THE STATE NEEDS TO LOOK TO AREAS SUCH AS NOT JUST COLLEGES.

THEY NEED TO LOOK TO AREAS SUCH AS THE ARMED FORCES, THE MILITARY, BECAUSE MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE COMING OUT FROM THE MILITARY AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO GO INTO PROGRAMS.

THEY COULD ALSO LOOK TO OTHER STATES.

GO TO COLLEGES THAT ARE IN THE SOUTH.

COLLEGES THAT ARE IN THE WEST.

THEY CAN ALSO LOOK TO OTHER PROFESSIONS AND TRY TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WHO MAY THINK ABOUT SWITCHES CAREERS TO COME INTO TEACHING.

ALL RIGHT.

THOSE ARE GOOD SUGGESTIONS.

I HOPE THE STATE IS LISTENING.

I HOPE SO, TOO.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

I DO HOPE THEY ARE LISTENING.

IT'S BEEN MY PLEASURE.

THANK YOU.

> IT HAS BEEN THE SCANDAL MAKING HEADLINES AND ONE THAT HAS ROCKED THE WORLD OF HOLLYWOOD AND THE MEGA RICH.

PAYMENTS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN SOME SITUATIONS REPORTEDLY CHANGES HANDS TO GET THE CHILDREN OF THE ELITE INTO THE BEST COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WHAT SOME CRITICS NOW SAY THAT MONEY CAN BUY.

THESE HEADLINES ARE PLAYING OUT IN HOMES ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR THE NEARLY 3 MILLION HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS APIEG TO GET INTO COLLEGE.

THE PRINCETON REVIEW HAS A WAY TO EASE SOME OF THE STRESS AND LATEST SURVEY THAT THEY TALK ABOUT WHERE THEY ARE FOCUSING ON COLLEGE HOPES AND WORRIES.

HERE WITH THE BREAK DOWN IS THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF.

ROBERT, GOOD TO SEE YOU.

THANKS FOR INVITING ME.

YOU ALWAYS GIVE US A GREAT UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT'S GOING ON.

STARTING WITH THE SURVEY YOU DID.

I AM GOING TO ASK YOU TO EXPLAIN HOW MANY PEOPLE, BECAUSE I WAS IMPRESSED BY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE AND FROM WHERE.

THIS IS NOT JUST A COUPLE OF PEOPLE YOU WERE TALKING TO.

TELL ME ABOUT THE NATURE, THE EXTENT OF THE SURVEY.

IT'S COLLEGE HOPES AND WORRIES.

IT'S OUR 17th YEAR OF DOING THIS.

IT WAS SHY OF 12,000 COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS AND PARENTS COMPLETING THE SURVEY THIS YEAR.

WE CAN FIGURE OUT WHERE STUDENTS'S HOPES ARE AND PARENTS' HOPES ARE.

BUT IF YOU UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY ARE SCARED, WORRIED, WHERE THEY ARE STRESSED, THEN WE CAN HAVE A CONVERSATION OF SUBSTANCE TO HELP DIFFUSE SOME OF THAT FRENZY.

THE NOTION OF THE STRESS LEVEL.

WHAT DID THE SURVEY FIND IN TERMS OF THE STRESS LEVEL FOR THIS COHORT, IF YOU WILL, OF HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS.

IT IS EXTREME.

IT'S MORE EXTREME THIS YEAR THAN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.

73% OF THE 12,000 COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS AND PARENTS WERE STRESSED OR VERY STRESSED ABOUT THE COLLEGE PROCESS.

INTERESTING, SINCE WE HAVE BEEN DOING THE SURVEY SO LONG, WE COMPARED TO 2003 NUMBERS, AND IT WAS 53%. SO WE KNOW THAT THERE HAS BEEN A HUGE RISE IN JUST STRESS AROUND THE COLLEGE PROCESS IN SOME COMPONENTS.

YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT MILD STRETCH.

PEOPLE ARE SAYING SIGNIFICANTLY STRESSED OR, YOU KNOW, RELATIVELY SIGNIFICANT.

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FACTORS THAT ENTER INTO IT.

WE TALK ABOUT HOPES AND DREAMS AND WORRIES.

SO WHAT YOU ASKED ABOUT, OKAY, WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES COMING OUT, WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANT FINDING FOR THAT?

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT IT, AND THIS IS A LOT OF STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS, 99% OF WHOM SAID COLLEGE IS WORTH IT.

BUT IT IS WORTH IT FOR TWO SPECIFIC REASONS.

ONE, THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GET A BETTER CAREER OF SUBSTANCE UPON GRADUATION AND THAT THEIR SCHOOL IS GOING TO BE A BETTER FIT FOR THEM ACADEMICALLY, CAMPUS CULTURE, FINANCIAL AID AND CAREER SERVICES.

THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT ONLY 9% SAID IT WAS ACADEMIC REPUTATION THAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT.

THAT WOULD BE SURPRISING TO ME.

WAS THAT SURPRISING TO YOU ALSO?

OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS IT'S BEEN FAIRLY CONSISTENT.

I AM ALWAYS SURPRISED.

I DO A LOT OF TALKS FOR COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENTS AND PARENTS.

HAD I TELL THEM, THEY ARE LIKE, GOSH, THIS IS INTERESTING.

IT'S THE QUESTION OF WHAT IS THE RETURN ON MY INVESTMENT ACADEMICALLY IF I AM A STUDENT AND IF I AM A PARENT PAYING FOR IT.

THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT AFTER GRADUATION.

ARE YOU FINDING GENERALLY THAT THE PARENTS MIGHT HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW THAN THE STUDENTS WHEN THE STUDENTS SAY, LOOK, IT'S NOT THE NAME THAT'S AS IMPORTANT, IT'S THE FIT?

IT'S EERILY SIMILAR.

ONE OR TWO PERCENTAGE POINTS OFF OF THOSE THINGS.

PROBABLY NOT UNCOMMON.

DISPARATE ANSWERS IS THAT PARENTS WANT THEIR KIDS TO GO CLOSER TO HOME, 250 MILES OR LESS.

KIDS WANT TO GO 250 MILES OR MORE.

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE VALUE OF COLLEGE, THEY ARE VERY SIMILAR.

AND I LIKE THAT BECAUSE THAT MEANS THEY ARE GETTING GOOD COLLEGE COUNSELING IN HIGH SCHOOLS AND ULTIMATELY HAVING A CONVERSATION OF SUBSTANCE WITH SOMEBODY FROM THE ADMISSIONS.

WE TALK ABOUT WORRY.

TOP OF THE LIST IS?

IT IS INCURRING TOO MUCH DEBT TO PAY FOR COLLEGE.

THIS HAS BEEN SOLIDLY NUMBER ONE FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS.

IT IS NOT SURPRISING.

THE LEVEL OF DEBT BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS IS $30,000.

WHEN I ASKED STUDENTS AND PARENTS, 60, 70, $80,000, SOME STUDENTS FEARING THEY WILL TAKE ON DEBT.

NOT HAVE AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE.

HOW ABOUT THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL AID?

WHAT ARE THEY THINKING IN TERMS OF WORRIES OR FEARS OR HOPES?

90% SOLIDLY SAID THAT FINANCIAL AID WAS GOING TO BE NECESSARY, VERY NECESSARY, OR EXTREMELY NECESSARY FOR THEM BEFORE SCHOOL.

SO WE UNDERSTAND IF THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT DEBT, IT GOES IN HAND WITH THE IDEA OF FINANCIAL AID BEING NECESSARY FOR THE PROCESS.

WHICH I THINK IS FINE, PARTICULARLY IF THE CONVERSATION THAT THEY HAVE WITH SCHOOLS, PART OF THEIR RESEARCH PROCESS, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE SURVEY, THIS IS WHAT STUDENTS ARE THINKING ABOUT NOW AND THEIR PARENTS.

IT'S NOT SAYING IF I GO TO THIS COLLEGE I AM GOING TO WILL OR HOPE THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

IT'S SAYING THIS IS PART OF WHAT I'M CONSIDERING FOR A FIT IN CHOOSING THAT PARTICULAR SCHOOL.

ARE YOU GETTING A SENSE AS A CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THIS THAT THE SCHOOLS ARE MORE COGNIZANT OF THESE FEARS AND THAT THEY ARE DOING THINGS TO HELP THESE INCOMING STUDENTS ALLAY THESE FEARS IN SOME FASHION?

THERE ARE MANY, MANY SCHOOLS THAT ARE BRINGING CAREER SERVICES AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT INTO THE GENERAL CONVERSATION THAT THEY HAVE WITH STUDENTS EARLY ON IN THE COLLEGE PROCESS, WHETHER THAT'S AT A COLLEGE FAIR OR CAMPUS OPEN HOUSE.

I TELL STUDENTS THAT I VISIT MORE COLLEGES THAN I'M CONVINCED THAN ANY OTHER PERSON ON THE PLANET, IF I'M NOT HEARING THAT CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW INTERNSHIPS, CAREER SERVICES IN GENERAL TIED TO MY UNDERGRADUATE EXPERIENCE FROM THE FIRST YEAR IN COLLEGE TO THE LAST, THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO HEAR.

THAT'S WHAT STUDENTS AND PARENTS ARE ASKING FOR AND SOME SCHOOLS ARE SERVING IT UP.

LET ME SHIFT FOCUS.

WE TALKED ABOUT THE SCANDAL.

MY WORD, YEAH.

YOU HAVE BEEN IN THIS WORLD FOR A LOT OF YEARS NOW.

WERE YOU SURPRISED BY IT?

I AM SURPRISED BY THE EXTENT OF THIS SCANDAL.

I AM JUST DEEPLY, DEEPLY UPSET.

MY PRINCETON REVIEW, WE ARE DEEPLY UPSET ABOUT THIS PROCESS AND HOW IT GOES ON.

THE THING IS, IT IS CHEATING AND IT IS CHEATING IN TWO WAYS.

CHEATING ON THE S.A.T. AND ACADEMIC ADMISSION.

WHAT IS NOT SURPRISING IS THERE IS STRESS AROUND THE PROCESS AND PEOPLE PLACE PRESTIGE AND WEIGHT IN SOME OF THE SCHOOLS THAT WERE SORT OF INVOLVED IN THIS OR THE SCHOOLS THEMSELVES NOT INVOLVED, BUT THE SCHOOLS THAT THEY WERE APPLYING TO WERE INVOLVED.

SO THAT DOES NOT SURPRISE ME.

THE STRESS LEVEL, BUT THE GRAND PERCEPTION THESE SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO GUARANTEE ME A BETTER LIFE FOR MORE SUCCESSFUL FUTURE.

THERE ARE 3,000 SCHOOLS OUT THERE.

I SAID TO MY KIDS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF SCHOOLS YOU CAN DO MARVELOUSLY AND CAN PREPARE YOU WONDERFULLY FOR YOUR LIFE.

LAST QUESTION.

SOMETIMES WE NEED A CRISIS TO MAKE US SIT BACK AND THINK ABOUT DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

DO YOU THINK THIS MIGHT HAVE SOME IMPACT ON ALL OF THE STRESS LEVELS OUT THERE AND THIS SORT OF MYOPIC FOCUS THAT SAYS THERE IS ONLY ONE GOOD SCHOOL THAT MY CHILD CAN GO TO?

I REALLY DO THINK IT WILL.

I THINK THE WAY COLLEGE ADMISSION WILL CHANGE BECAUSE OF THIS CHEATING SCANDAL IS THERE WILL BE MORE VISIBILITY IN THE PROCESS.

I THINK WE WILL HEAR IT FROM THE HANDFUL OF SCHOOLS THAT WERE SOMEHOW INVOLVED AND THE NAMES OF THOSE SCHOOLS.

I THINK DEANS AND DIRECTORS OF ADMINISTRATION AND ADMISSION COUNSELS, COLLEGE PRESIDENTS FROM MANY SCHOOLS SAYING LET US PROVIDE YOU MORE VISIBILITY.

IF YOU ARE SAYING THIS IS TYPICAL, YOU ARE NOT SURPRISED, THIS IS A HUMAN BUSINESS.

THERE ARE QUANTITATIVE METRICS.

HIGH SCHOOL G.P.A.

THIS IS A HUMAN PROCESS.

CHARACTER, GRIT, PERSEVERANCE ARE PART AND PARCEL.

WE NEED TO HEAR THAT OVER THE NEXT YEAR AND YEARS BECAUSE THIS IS GOING TO CHANGE.

EVEN FROM THE TIME MY KIDS WERE YOUNG, PRINCETON REVIEW, IS A MARVELOUS RESOURCE AND THE SURVEYS ARE HELPFUL FOR FOLKS.

ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK TO YOU.

THANK YOU.

YOU BE WELL.

> THROUGHOUT THEIR RICH 150-YEAR HISTORY, AMERICA'S HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, OR HBCUs, HAVE SERVED AS A HAVEN FOR BLACK ARTISTS AND REVOLUTIONARIES.

AN AVAILABLE PATH TO THE AMERICAN DREAM FOR ALL AFRICAN-AMERICANS THEY HAVE NURTURED SOME OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AMERICANS OF OUR TIME.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., WE DEBO OPRAH WINFREY, ALICE WALKER TO NAME A FEW.

THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TELLS THE LITTLE BUT RICH STORY OF THESE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING.

HERE IS A PREVIEW.

THE QUESTION FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS HAS ALWAYS BEEN WHAT IS EDUCATION'S PURPOSE?

WHO CONTROLS IT AND WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP OF EDUCATION TO THE BROADER ASPIRATIONS OF OUR PEOPLE?

MORE DENIED THE CHANCE TO READ AND WRITE.

MORE OF THAT BECOMES A PRIZE THAT YOU MUST HAVE.

BLACK COLLEGES ARE REDEFINING WHAT IT MEANT TO BE BLACK IN AMERICA.

YOU WERE PURSUING A CAREER WHERE INTELLECT MATTERED.

AN EDUCATED BLACK POPULATION COULD NOT BE AN ENSLAVED BLACK POPULATION.

IF YOU WEREN'T OUT THERE DEMONSTRATING, THEN SOMETHING HAD TO BE WRONG WITH YOUR SCHOOL.

WE WANTED FREEDOM NOW, BUT WHITES WERE NOT PREPARED FOR ANY CHANGES HERE.

I THINK THEY SHOULD BE KEPT OUT ANY WAY POSSIBLE.

♪♪

HE COULD RAPE A SLAVE.

HE COULD DO VIRTUALLY ANYTHING.

BUT TEACH A SLAVE HOW TO READ OR WRITE --

AS SOON AS THE WAR BREAKS OUT, THE FIRST THING THEY WANT IS TO GET AN EDUCATION.

THEY WANTED THOSE SCHOOLS TO BE AS FREE AS POSSIBLE FROM PATERNALISM, FROM RACISM.

WHETHER SUBTLE OR BLATANT.

YOU BETTER LET --

HBCUs CAMPUSES.

WE MUST LOVE AND PROTECT EACH OTHER.

WE ARE ALL GOING THROUGH THE SAME EXPERIENCE.

♪♪

HBCU IS SOMEWHERE I CAN BE COMPLETELY MYSELF.

♪♪

THE BLACK COLLEGE EXPERIENCE PROVIDES A PLACE TO BE IN THE MAJORITY.

THAT IS SUCH A UNIQUE AND EMPOWERING EXPERIENCE.

THIS HBCU EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT ME THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THAT ONE SPARK.

WITH US IS THE WRITER, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER OF TELL THEM WE ARE RISING.

STANLEY NELSON.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

I HAVE SEEN THIS ALMOST THREE TIMES.

TWO AND A HALF TIMES, AND I LIKE IT EVERY TIME.

SO THE FILM SPANS A PERIOD OF 150 YEARS.

THESE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE, CRITICAL ROLE THROUGHOUT AMERICAN HISTORY.

SO GIVEN THIS IMMENSE TIME SPAN, HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO CHOOSE -- WHAT CRITERIA DID YOU USE TO CHOOSE THE STORIES THAT YOU CHOSE?

THAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE.

HOW DO YOU TELL THIS HUGE STORY, HOW DO YOU SIPHON IT DOWN AND TELL IT IN AN HOUR AND A HALF.

AND SO WHAT WE DID WAS WE SAID, YOU KNOW, WHAT FILM DOES BEST IS IT TELLS STORIES.

IT DOESN'T GIVE A LIST OF 100 AND SOMETHING SCHOOLS, YOU KNOW.

IT DOESN'T GIVE A LOT OF FACTS AND FIGURES.

IT TELLS STORIES.

SO WE CHOSE STORIES.

ONE STORY LED TO THE NEXT.

AN EXAMPLE, WE KNEW WE WANTED TO START THE FILM IN THE TIME OF ENSLAVEMENT WHEN IT WAS ILLEGAL FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS TO BE EDUCATED.

IT WAS ILLEGAL TO EDUCATE YOUR OWN SLAVE.

THAT WAS A LAW ON THE BOOKS IN THE SOUTH.

THAT IS HOW MUCH EDUCATION WAS FEARED.

SO WE KNEW WE WANTED TO START BACK THERE BECAUSE THAT KIND OF GIVES A BASE TO THE STORY.

THAT'S OUR FIRST STORY.

WHAT'S THE SECOND STORY?

AND WE WENT ON FROM THERE.

I KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE A DOCUMENTARY.

I KNOW BY THE TIME THE CAMERAS START ROLLING YOU BECOME AN EXPERT BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH.

THERE IS USUALLY SOMETHING THAT SURPRISES YOU IN THE COURSE OF FILMING.

WHAT SURPRISED YOU?

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SURPRISED ME SO MUCH WAS HOW, WHAT AN AMAZING ROLE BLACK COLLEGES PLAYED AT SO MANY PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, MA AMERICAN HISTORY.

SO BROWN VERSUS BOARD OF ED, WHICH CHANGED THE IDEA OF SEPARATE BUT EQUAL, WHICH ENDED SEGREGATION AS A LAW WAS PUSHED THROUGH AT THE HOWARD LAW SCHOOL.

THE SIT-IN MOVEMENT WAS STARTED AT NORTH CAROLINA A&T, FREEDOM RISE, FREEDOM OF SUMMER.

SO MANY THINGS.

THE BLACK POWER MOVEMENT.

TOOK OFF AT BLACK COLLEGE CAMPUSES.

TODAY BLACK LIVES MATTER GETS SOME OF ITS STRENGTH AND MOMENTUM AT BLACK COLLEGE CAMPUSES.

SO IT WAS REALLY A FASCINATING THING TO ME HOW CENTRAL BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE BEEN TO SO MUCH OF THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY.

AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS OF THE BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES?

EVEN AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES.

WELL, YOU KNOW, I HAVE BEEN TRAVELING AROUND WITH THE FILM, SCREENING IT AT BLACK COLLEGE CAMPUSES.

ONE THING I FOUND, YOU KNOW, IT'S ALMOST LIKE IN THE BACK OF PEOPLE'S MINDS THEY HAVE THIS IMAGE THAT BLACK COLLEGES ARE HELD TOGETHER BY GLUE AND SPIT AND THESE LITTLE WOODEN BUILDINGS THAT PEOPLE ARE NAILING SHUT.

BUT THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT IS.

A LOT OF THESE CAMPUSES ARE INCREDIBLY, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE JUST INCREDIBLE CAMPUSES.

THEY ARE INCREDIBLY DIVERSE, INCREDIBLE BUILDINGS.

WE WERE JUST AT FAMU, FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY.

THERE IS LIKE 8,000 STUDENTS AT FLORIDA A&M.

A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS.

YOU TALK ABOUT THE DIVERSITY.

I WAS SURPRISED IN THE COURSE OF DOING RESEARCH FOR OUR INTERVIEW, I DISCOVERED THERE WAS A REPORT, A STUDY BY UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA THAT SAID 50 YEARS AGO THE UNIVERSITIES, HBCUs, WERE ALL BLACK.

IN 1980, 80% WERE BLACK.

BY THE 2002 OR -- NO, BY 2013 IT WAS 75% BLACK.

THIS I'M SURE THAT THE TRAJECTORY IS CONTINUING THIS THAT DIRECTION.

HOW MUCH IS THAT GOING TO CHANGE THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTER OF HBCUs?

YOU KNOW, THIS IS MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION.

I DON'T THINK THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTER IS CHANGING OR HAS CHANGED IN THE VAST, VAST, VAST MAJORITY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

SO STILL THEY ARE VERY DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS.

THE ENTHUSIASM, THE LOVE OF THE SCHOOL IS VERY DIFFERENT.

YOU KNOW, HOMECOMING IS SOMETHING JUST INCREDIBLE AT HBCUs.

YOU KNOW, EVEN LUNCHTIME AND DINNERTIME, AS SOMEBODY SAID THE OTHER DAY, THEY ARE THE ONLY PLACE THAT YOU GET GRITS FOR BREAKFAST.

JUST DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS IN A WAY.

AND I THINK IN SOME WAYS THE EDUCATIONAL STYLE CAN BE DIFFERENT.

THEY ARE MUCH -- THEY TEND TO BE MORE NURTURING THAN THE VAST MAJORITY OF WHITE INSTITUTIONS.

PART OF IT IS A NURTURING OF LET ME HELP YOU, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN DO IT, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S WRONG, YOU KNOW, WHY DIDN'T YOU COME TO CLASS.

YOU KNOW, IT'S JUST -- IT'S MORE OF THAT NURTURING, WHICH IS PART OF THEIR CULTURE FROM THE BEGINNING.

AND THAT'S PART OF THE CULTURE THAT HAS SUSTAINED.

ALL RIGHT.

SO THE FILM, AS I SAID, IS BRILLIANT.

IT'S WONDERFUL.

I HOPE A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE IT.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

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