Black high school students undecided whether to choose black colleges Pros, cons weighed by fair visitors

Brian Douglas was one of many black high school students at Festival Hall yesterday who had not decided whether to choose a historically black college or a predominantly white school after graduation.

Mr. Douglas, 18, a senior at City College in Baltimore, remained undecided after attending the KGF Historically Black College Fair at Festival Hall, where representatives from some of the 107 black colleges and universities touted the virtues of their schools.


"I think a black college can do more for a black man. And I think a black man going to a black college can make the institution stronger," said Mr. Douglas, who plans to major in communications or journalism.

But, he said, there are benefits at predominantly white colleges.


"You are exposed to a multicultural atmosphere," Mr. Douglas said. "I think you learn more about life and how to deal with prejudices."

Recruiters came from local colleges, including Morgan State University and Coppin State College. And they came from faraway schools such as Grambling State University in Louisiana, Spelman College in Atlanta and Wilberforce University Ohio.

The fair is sponsored by Kraft General Foods, which is providing $20,000 in scholarships to local high school students. The fair has visited St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Newark (N.J.) and Washington. It moves today to Bowie State University, where it will end tomorrow.

Marc Bragg, 17, a junior at Woodlawn High, also is considering a black college, where he believes he would receive encouragement.

"I want to go to the best college possible," said the youth, who plans to become a lawyer.

"I would rather go to a black college, but if another college can provide more, I would have to do what's best for me."

Denitia Fleming, 16, an 11th-grader at Lansdowne High, has narrowed her choices to two black colleges and a predominantly white school.

"I don't know which would be better," she said. "There are benefits and a down side of going to a historically black college.


"You might not be able to interact with other cultures when you get into the real world," she said.

Terri Teelucksingh, a recruiter for North Carolina Central University, said that graduates of black colleges are well equipped to function in society.

She said Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson is one of a number of notable NCCU alumni.

"You have the Dukes and the Yales and the Harvards, and you have black colleges that have many of the same programs," said Ms. Teelucksingh.

"We have strong programs in place that can compete with those of any other school."