By Shanon D. Murray
My article that first ran on TheLoop21.com two weeks ago was intended to provide a critical look into the financial woes African American students encounter when they attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities, given that HBCUs are disproportionately represented among public and private schools with exorbitant student loan default rates.
I wrote about my findings in an article intended to be provocative enough to instigate a very important conversation. The reaction was swift, far-reaching and largely negative. My article elicited plenty of emotional responses and childish name-calling. It is quite small-minded to dismiss rational analysis as the work of an idiot or a racist and very easy to turn on one another instead of directing our attention to the problem at hand.
Some readers did engage in a healthy way, namely the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A high-ranking official for the organization reached out to me to discuss my article after five or six sources both inside and outside of the Education Department forwarded it to him, he said. The official said that my article raised “hard, difficult questions that were well-posed.”