A historically Black college will soon close. St. Paul’s College, the 125 year old institution in Lawrenceville, Virginia will shut down at the end of this month. For those that may have never heard of Lawrenceville, it is a small town in the Southern portion of Virginia, with a population a little over 1400. Located in Brunswick County, the school served 600 students. It has been struggling financially for at least the last few years now.
Aside from this being news because of the fact that St. Paul’s College was a HBCU, it brings into sharper focus a question of great importance to the Black community. Last month, there was somewhat of an uproar when it came out that hip hop recording artist and producer Dr. Dre gave 35 million dollars to the University of Southern California as opposed to a HBCU. Some in the Black community see those of us that happen to be well to do as having an obligation to support Black schools. Others feel that we have no right to tell the well off how they will utilize their money. This is not just about Dr. Dre, but the question of support from various Black figures as well.
It is terribly unfortunate that the students at St. Paul’s College will be losing their institution. Not to mention the faculty and the staff that will be losing their jobs. Rural towns with colleges tend to be dependent on them for the local economy. The loss of St. Paul’s College will be bad for all of Lawrenceville. With all of this fallout soon to take place, there will be a part of this writer that wonders if it all could have been avoided. There is a poll below this post that I ask my readers to participate in. Are well to do Black people morally obligated to support HBCU’s? Even if they aren’t products of them? I await your commentary. Peace.