Hold Up: Aisha Tyler Thinks HBCUs Are Bad for Black Students?

Hold Up: Aisha Tyler Thinks HBCUs Are Bad for Black Students?

Read her comments that have people upset.

Published April 28th

Aisha Tyler is a rare breed of celebrity who actually has a college degree from a top-notch university, so she's often called up to talk about the importance of education. Well, The Talk co-host, who graduated from Dartmouth, was bigging up her alma mater and managed to shade our beloved HBCUs at the same time in a recent interview with TIME Money.

"Dartmouth represented a great opportunity. I wanted to go to the best possible school I could go to," she said. "Dartmouth is a small school with high-caliber teaching. Our classes were all taught by professors, not teaching assistants. I felt like that was a school where I could make a big splash. The opportunities would be grander and more robust for me there than at a school with 40,000 students."  

Now, here's where it starts to get shady: "I didn’t mind being in a school with a small African-American population. The African-American community was very tight, and that was great. But I also wanted to interact with other types of folks. Every culture is very important. Dartmouth has always been dedicated to diversity of culture."

She went on to say too many people are trying to stay in their comfort zones for college, which, for kids in predominantly Black neighborhoods, apparently means attending an HBCU. “Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t pick a college that replicates what you did in high school," she says. "Test yourself in an unfamiliar context so that you can learn to succeed no matter where you are placed, so that you know you can excel.”

She continued, "When incidents of discrimination happen, that is the real world. You know, if someone doesn’t write something nasty on your dorm door, that doesn’t mean they are not thinking it. What would we be like if Black people didn’t go into the heart and didn’t try to change things? We would have made no progress in the country. Bravery is the engine of change."

There you go, high school seniors: be brave and go to a predominantly-white, ideally racist school, where your fellow students might leave nasty messages on your dorm room door.

So, does Aisha have a point, or nah? 

Watch Aisha talk about finding her voice on The Queen Latifah Show:

Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Microsoft)

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