Charlotte, HBCU, Festival, Black Colleges

Charlotte Hosts First HBCU Festival To Celebrate Black Colleges

Charlotte hosted the inaugural event to connect its community to Black colleges.

Charlotte is celebrating Black colleges in a major way. The North Carolina city hosted its first-ever HBCU festival to commemorate the schools and educate families about their existence.

The event kicked off on June 1, as residents across the state’s capital came to learn more about HBCU history. Its mission was to strengthen the connection between Charlotte and the Black colleges within and beyond its community. The festival’s organizers hope to spread awareness of the diversity and knowledge found on HBCU campuses.

“We brought together all HBCU cultures in one place for the first-ever inaugural HBCU Festival,” organizer Nasir Jones, a North Carolina A&T alum, told WCNC. “Where people can know what’s going on, and gain that awareness about how important it is in today’s society to know these things, and what can we give back to the community to help aid these causes.”

Many fellow HBCU alumni stepped out on Saturday for the occasion while rocking their school’s merch to showcase their pride in attending a Black college. In addition, educational games that taught the history of the schools and Black culture were on full display.

“This is a community, this is family,” shared Shakira Hodges, co-owner of Trivia For Us. “Learn some things — we also have a Trivia for Us game, so that’s all about Black history, Black culture.” 

Alongside the fun and fellowship, the festival also inspired all to pursue a Black college experience with a scholarship giveaway. Four lucky students earned $1K scholarships for signing up for the Black college fair. Charlotte hosts one HBCU as well, Johnson C. Smith University.

“We gave four for the HBCU college fair,” explained Jones. “So we started right there, four students randomly — you sign up for the college fair, they will receive $1,000, just working towards books, tuition, anything of that nature.” 

Admissions to HBCUs have surged in recent years. For example, schools like Howard University have broken records in tterms of he number of applicants for the upcoming school year. While a greater spotlight has shined on HBCUs, communal upliftment in Charlotte seeks to bring more students to Black colleges.