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"It Takes a Village to Raise a Child": The Role of Social Capital in Promoting Academic Success for African American Men at a Black College

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were created to provide educational opportunities for African Americans when other higher education venues restricted their participation. HBCUs are credited with nurturing and producing leaders who embraced W. E. B. Du Bois's concept of the "Talented Tenth," and exhibiting fortitude in advancing social equality for all. Over the years, as legalized segregation was overturned and efforts were made to expand opportunities for African Americans, some have questioned the continuing need for HBCUs. A study of 11 African American men attending a public, urban HBCU, indicated that the university's rich supply of social capital (a direct consequence of its mission and history) makes it a unique fixture in the landscape of higher education, one whose special features have not been replicated by historically White institutions.