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MY TRUTH: Making History or Not?

Cheryl Smith, Richard Gallot, Katrice Hardy
Texas Metro News Publisher Cheryl Smith, Grambling President Richard Gallot and The Dallas Morning News’ Executive Editor Katrice Hardy at the State Fair Classic.

Last weekend was great.

Once again the State Fair Classic was held — part of the opening festivities of the State Fair of Texas.

Yes, it was a “Blackish” day at the Fair and it was great to see the support for HBCUs.

Prairie View A&M is on a serious streak as they won yet another game, defeating Grambling State (GSU) 24- 10; for their 4th consecutive win.

Now I know folks are going to take issue with me.

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And I know that I am a tough judge because I have seen the best band time and time again at Florida A&M University, BUT, I have to give the Battle of the Bands to Prairie View!

They showed up and showed out! And that’s what we must do all the time.

Which brings me to another truth.

Richard “Rick” Gallot, Jr., president of GSU consistently shows up and shows out. A fine representative of all HBCUs, during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, he was joined by several other HBCU presidents as they discussed challenges but also successes.

To hear presidents talking about the future, as well as the past — the foundation, of HBCUs, had me beaming with pride.

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At the game on Saturday, I talked with President Gallot, who is also a former City Councilman, Louisiana State Representative and Senator, and a GSU alum. He received his law degree from Southern University and in 2016 he was named GSU President.

Great HBCU presidents are concerned about their schools and they are concerned about all HBCUs. President Gallot is great. He talked about his relationship with other HBCUs and how there is mutual respect and also mentoring.

It was uplifting to hear President Gallot talking about other presidents, and especially mine, Dr. Larry Robinson. President Gallot praised President Robinson’s leadership and advocacy on behalf of HBCUs.

I wish everyone could hear our HBCU presidents speak about what some might say is a ministry of sorts. Our students are in good hands, we just need to ensure that the hands are well equipped and well financed!

Which brings me to another truth.

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If you got free tickets to the game, make a donation to the school. Even if you didn’t get free tickets, make a donation.

Add HBCUs to your list and make annual contributions. HBCUs are great investments and they are so deserving of our support.

I think of the challenges, sacrifices and trials that led to the founding of these great institutions and I actually feel a moral obligation to support them.

After all, what does it say about me, a Black woman living in America, who values education; if I don’t support HBCUs?

Just remember Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. She made a $1.50 investment and we have Bethune Cookman University today, over a century later.

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Were it not for her, FAMU wouldn’t have BCU to beat up on!

And rivalries are good. They are fun. As long as we realize that the work never ends.

That’s why organizations like the Dallas Metroplex Council of Black Alumni Associations (DMCBAA) is important. You have alumni from HBCUs across the country, living in North Texas, who have joined together to support ALL HBCUs.

DMCBAA is on the right side of history. Where are you?

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