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Delaware State University and City of Wilmington team up for HBCU week

Delaware Public Media

September is Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Month.

And a series of events are happening this week to create more opportunities for young people to attend college.

Delaware has only one HBCU - Delaware State University. 

And DSU is participating in the City of Wilmington’s week-long series of events promoting awareness of HBCUs among local students and their families.

DSU Executive Vice President Provost Tony Allen says HBCU week in Wilmington kicked off Sunday with a celebration church service at Bethel AME Church, “And then throughout the week we are having specific nights that promote pride, success, career opportunities and college access.”

Allen says those events include an HBCU College Fair at the 76ers Fieldhouse from 9 a-m to 6 p-m on Friday. And ESPN’s  “First Take” featuring Stephen A. Smith will broadcast live from that fair.


“[That] will feature the likes of Magic Johnson and others. Delaware State will have a big presence there," said Allen. "And literally right across the hall, we’re expecting 4,000 high school students to participate in the College Fair. 


Allen says HBCU’s represent just 3% of all colleges and universities in America, but have produced more than half of the African American professionals in the country.


“There’s some history to it as you might imagine," said Allen. "For many years and it’s consistent in Delaware, African Americans in particular were locked out of the traditional higher education landscape. Delaware State has bridged that gap here in Delaware.

Allen noted that, in Delaware - a state with one of the highest African American populations per capita in the United States, the lion’s share of college-educated African Americans are graduates of Delaware State University.

Allen says about 25 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities are expected to participate in Friday’s college fair.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.