Definition of HBCU in US English:



  • A college or university that was originally founded to educate students of African-American descent.

    ‘another HBCU recently hosted a series of lectures looking at the African Diaspora and its impact on the Americas’
    as modifier ‘the impact and influence of HBCU graduates are immeasurable’
    • ‘Many African American students have walked in their footsteps on HBCU campuses, contributing to the rise and continued growth of the Black middle class.’
    • ‘I am a recent graduate of Norfolk State University, an HBCU.’
    • ‘Buck taught at Delaware State University, an HBCU, for twenty-nine years.’
    • ‘The findings further suggest that African American students have a stronger identification with their African American instructors than they do with their Euro-American instructors in the HBCU classroom.’
    • ‘His father, however, insisted that he attend Morehouse, an HBCU.’
    • ‘Many HBCU presidents, for example, are said to emulate the charismatic, paternal approach found in African American churches.’
    • ‘An HBCU can provide an amiable setting for folks who are eager to study black literature.’
    • ‘Perhaps even more important are the legacies of HBCU alumni like W.E.B. DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, Dr. John Hope Franklin and Marian Wright Edelman, among others.’
    • ‘It is not a coincidence that other minorities besides African-Americans gravitate towards an HBCU for their nursing education.’
    • ‘Gerald knows our newsroom, and we both know that our paper has been blessed by the work of HBCU graduates.’


1980s: abbreviation of historically black college or university.