Apr. 24, 2020

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste " United Negro College Fund

“I learned a lesson with regard to race that I never forgot: how people feel about you reflects the way you permit yourself to be treated. If you permit yourself to be treated differently, you are condemned to an unequal relationship.”
Frederick Douglass Patterson

On April 25, 1944, The United Negro College Fund was founded by Frederick Douglass Patterson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and William J. Trent. Since it's founding 76 years ago nearly a half a million students have been aiding by either matriculated at the numerous UNCF Historically Black Colleges and Universities or by directly receiving UNCF college scholarships. One of the initial brandings of UNCF was the phrase, " A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste". That phrase was a point of fact a powerful reality in the many black communities throughout this country. When the trio Patterson, Bethune, and Trent founded UNCF many black students could only attend HBCU because of the segregation policies of primarily white universities in many southern states. In addition, many of our black ancestors coming from participating in fighting the Axis powers in World War II weren't getting the GI Bill College Federal Funding in those southern states without going through major hassles. In many cases monies that black GI's were qualified for simply never came to pass. That is why the United Negro College Fund was the essential vehicle for allowing those blacks entrance into the HBCU's because otherwise educational doors were shut tight.

You have to wonder historically where our black communities would be if UNCF didn't exist? The overwhelming number of black degreed professionals matriculated at HBCU institutions. This is still the case today in this country. Historically Black Colleges and Universities funded by the now billions of dollars raised by the United Negro College Fund serve black communities in so many ways:

So the importance of the United Negro College Fund's support of these HBCU's is extremely vital to the progress of our black communities, past, present, and future. So on this day April 25, 2019, The Blackman Who Reads Aloud celebrates the brilliance of Frederick Douglass Patterson whose insight and commitment to the uplift of our black communities should be placed at the highest level of appreciation. Even today as so many of our black communities suffer many major societal barriers and societal ills. Our HBCU's along with UNCF stands singular on the battlefield fighting against oppression. These institutions of higher learning hold the key to the advancement of our people. A mind still remains a terrible thing to waste and God knows our black communities still are losing far too many young black minds.

Frederick Douglass Patterson was indeed an individual who followed in the footsteps of his namesake Frederick Douglass who was committed in his life to bring the highest principles of education to our ancestors. When you mention the name Mary McLeod Bethune you automatically think aloud the words black brilliance. William Trent was dedicated to the uplift of black students nationwide. I, myself, is a graduate of Morgan State University, a proud HBCU alumnus, as well as an individual committed to the educational uplift of our black communities. So today just for a moment remember the names Frederick Douglass Patterson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and William J. Trent who helped bridge the gap that leads to universal black educational excellence.​