Attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) is one of the most magical and surreal gifts a student can receive…and not just for students that identify as African-American, but for the Caribbean, African, Asian, Caucasian, and Latin American students and the rich confluence of the two or three. Unlike many universities, HBCU’s have been cornerstones in providing education for underserved communities not only in the United States but around the world…so how does one chronicle such a “had to be there” experience and excite future generations to continue championing our cherished universities? I decided it would be a good idea to write a book!
I’m Kyle McMurtry, and this is my Crystal Stair.
I recently self-published the children’s book Henry’s is Going to an HBCU. I’m a current Political Science and Business major at Howard University from Detroit, Michigan. My book aims to teach children about these distinguished institutions and spark a desire to pursue an HBCU education. My hope is that this book encourages future generations to become HBCU scholars!
Three years ago, I was almost unable to attend my top collegiate choice. Initially, I was qualified for a substantial university scholarship to attend Howard, but a sudden change in the requirements deemed me ineligible just a few weeks before arriving to campus. It wasn’t quite the ideal college start for a legacy Howard student.
However, the one skill you learn to master while attending an HBCU is resourcefulness and resilience. To me, a “no” is just a time filler until I get to a “maybe” and then I can turn that “maybe” into a definite “yes”. It’s all dependent on how passionate you are to get to that “yes”.
I was determined not to let finances hinder my education and dreams. I applied to a myriad of scholarships and was fortunate enough to earn significant funds. Overwhelming support from family has helped me finance my junior year and is helping me prepare for my final year at my favorite institution.
Ultimately, I plan on using the proceeds from this book to establish a scholarship fund for HBCU students and to support pro-HBCU causes. The book is currently available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback formats (kylemcmurtry.com), and they make wonderful gifts for your younger brothers and sisters (wink wink)!
It is our duty as current HBCU students and alumni to keep the hope alive and reinforce the importance of being in a space where you are collectively nurtured and prepared for a world that is not always advantageous to people of color.
This is my contribution to society. What will be yours?