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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Gasman

Beyoncé Focuses On HBCUs Once Again


Growing up with historically Black Texas Southern University in her hometown of Houston, Texas, Beyoncé is familiar with the power of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) despite having not attended one. She (and husband and rapper Jay-Z) have been supporting HBCUs in the past few years in myriad ways, including the newest example — a partnership with Tiffany & Co. focused on a line of jewelry inspired by her Renaissance World Tour. The profits from the collection will support HBCU students, further funding the About Love Scholarship Program, which is focused on students pursuing artistic and creative majors at five HBCUs (Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Norfolk State University, Bennett College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and Central State University.


According to Clarissa Sparks, marketing expert and graduate of historically Black Clark Atlanta University, “Through her performances, philanthropy, and strategic partnership, Beyoncé showcases the power of leveraging cultural influence to promote meaningful causes. By aligning her brand with HBCUs, she reinforces her authenticity and commitment to empowering education and taps into a loyal audience that values social impact.” Sparks added, “Beyoncé's positioning revolves around being an influential artist committed to her cultural heritage and social causes. Her association with HBCUs reinforces her connection to the African American community and her dedication to empowering the next generation through education.”


Presidents of HBCUs agree that Beyoncé’s attention toward HBCUs matters. According to Michael J. Sorrell, president of historically Black Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, “The importance of Beyoncé’s support of HBCUs cannot be overstated. She is the biggest star in the world and has chosen to invest in her culture in a very public and unique way. We are all members of her hive now.”


Presidents of HBCUs agree that Beyoncé’s attention toward HBCUs matters. According to Michael J. Sorrell, president of historically Black Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas, “The importance of Beyoncé’s support of HBCUs cannot be overstated. She is the biggest star in the world and has chosen to invest in her culture in a very public and unique way. We are all members of her hive now.”


Beyoncé also drew attention to HBCUs through her 2018 Coachella headliner performance in which she showcased HBCU step shows, Greek life, and marching bands. The Coachella performance featured over 150 former HBCU band members and dancers. She showcased the immense African American talent at HBCUs. Moreover, Beyoncé tied scholarships to the performance, donating to students at four HBCUs (Xavier University of Louisiana, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University, and Bethune-Cookman University.


The impact was even more significant as Netflix streamed her Homecoming documentary, which was based on the Coachella performance. From the perspective of higher education researcher and Howard University professor Robert Palmer, “Funding from her scholarships will help countless students focus on their studies and not have to worry about taking out additional loans or trying to find a job to support their educational pursuits.” He added, “As a professor at an HBCU, I have seen firsthand how this type of scholarship can make a huge difference in a student’s life and aid in their ability to persist to degree completion.”


This article was originally published by Forbes.







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