Historically Black: American Icons Who Attended HBCUs

Running Pr. Dec. 2022. 176p. ISBN 9780762480326. $26. ED
Morehouse College graduate Vereen has assembled a tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the help of illustrator Gordon Rowe. It is a collective biography of notable alumni who attended institutions such as Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, and Rust College. The book contains information about HBCU choral ensembles, the first Black fraternity and sorority, collegiate sports, and various clubs and organizations. Alumni from the early years of HBCUs include Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, and Zora Neale Hurston. More recent decades have yielded such graduates as Chadwick Boseman and Megan Thee Stallion. There are short biographies of each featured alum that focuses on their time at an HBCU (Bayard Rustin at Wilberforce University; Stacey Abrams at Spelman College). The rich illustrations give the text a vibrant feel. Institutions lesser known than Howard University are given their due. Beyoncé’s live album of her 2018 Coachella performance, a salute to HBCUs, replete with a marching band, would make the perfect companion to this book. HBCU alums as well as other readers will find much to discover and treasure in this homage to Black excellence.
VERDICT An essential purchase for all libraries.
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