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Beyonce's 'Homecoming' Is A Love Letter To HBCUs

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Pop Culture Happy Hour : Beyoncé's Homecoming Image

Did you watch the new Beyonce documentary on Netflix last weekend?

The Beyhive has been abuzz about Homecoming, the behind-the-scenes look at Beyonce’s history-making performance at Coachella last spring. Beyonce was the first black woman to headline the annual music festival. And the two-hour performance has been called a love letter to the country’s historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.

“I always dreamed about going to an HBCU,” the superstar says in the film, adding about her choice to make the institutions the theme of the history-making performance: “It was important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Homecoming brings renewed interest in HBCUs, at a time when many of them across the country are struggling with enrollment and resources.

Morning Shift checks in with three HBCU alumni about how their colleges shaped who they are today, the struggles HBCUs across the country face right now, and possible solutions. 

GUESTS: Arionne Nettles, WBEZ digital producer and alum of Florida A&M 

Crystal DeGregory, founder of and alum of Tennessee State University 

Jerry Crawford, associate professor in News and Information at University of Kansas; 


The HBCUs Honored in Beyoncé's Homecoming Shaped US History … (Time, 4/19)

The Student-Debt Crisis Hits Hardest at Historically Black Colleges (WSJ 4/17)

As historically black colleges struggle, Bennett College for women fights to stay afloat (LA Times 4/22)

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