HBCUGO.TV is proud to announce that one of our founders and our Ceo, Mr. Curtis Symonds was recently featured in Black Enterprise Magazine.
Curtis symonds was featured May 4th in a Black Enterprise article by Anthony Quinones entitled, "Media and Entertainment Titan Curtis Symonds Launches HBCU Platform to Empower Black Community. Curtis Symonds has been a very successful businessman, a pillar of the Black American community in general and a powerful advocate of HBCU's in particular, for decades. Black Enterprise Magazine has been for over 50 years... and still is today, the pre-iminent business media platform for Black Entrepreneurs from "Start Ups" to the "Titans of Industry.
Curtis Symonds has held high-level positions at BET, ESPN, and the WNBA. For the past 10+ years, he has devoted his life to leveraging the historically Black college or university experience through his platform, HBCUGo TV. HBCUs have been a part of his life for over 40 years. His mother and father were not only HBCU graduates but were educators at Central State University in Xenia, Ohio. He is also a graduate of Central State University. HBCUGO.TV is dedicated to being a true destination for the total HBCU experience. His vision is to be the leading media provider illuminating the voice and experiences of the 105 HBCUs by delivering content that empowers, educates, and entertains.
In a recent interview, we talked about a variety of topics from sports to education to family and more. The interview has been edited and condensed.
What the HBCU experience means to me is the embodiment of knowing who you are. When you go to a PWI (predominately white institution), you become a number. When you come to an HBCU, the president calls you by your name because he knows who you are. And one of the things that has been strong in the HBCU community and on the campus is that it really molds you as an individual. If you talk to anyone who’s gone through an HBCU, the first thing they will say is that university helped me to be who I am today because it taught me the meaning of who I am. And a lot of people don’t understand that. A lot of people go to PWIs. They don’t come back for homecomings. They don’t relate to the people they went to school with because a lot of them didn’t know half the people they went to school with.
At an HBCU you know almost everybody. And for years you celebrate that when you come back for your homecomings and the bonding that’s part of this process is incredible, man. And not only do you bond with your classmates, you bond with your teachers who you’ve known for years and years and years because all of them were important to your growth.
I would say it’s now being recognized a little bit better. It’s growing out of the circle of the way normal people would look at HBCUs. Now you have athletes saying if they had to do it over again, they would have gone to an HBCU instead of a PWI. I think the mindset across the board in our community in the people who we look at, we look up to, in Black America is I need to be better involved with HBCUs. For example, Chris Paul, who’s doing a lot more now in the HBCU circle, from North Carolina A&T to North Carolina Central and other places, is putting a stamp on the fact that we have to do more to support HBCUs. It’s definitely through those tragedies that we’ve seen over the last 12 months that has heightened awareness of the value of these universities.
Well, in our community, Black college sports has always been the lead-in. But what I’m trying to do now is branch out. In talking to advertisers and business people, you lead with college sports because that’s the first thing they relate to the HBCUs.
What I’ve tried to do now is add some of the educational and lifestyle things that make these schools as great as they are today and also help them understand the product that’s come out of HBCUs. The Spike Lees out of Morehouse, other people who have made big strides coming out of HBCUs and keep educating them on that it’s not just sports. There’s a lot of other people who have come out of HBCUs that stand for something. But you need to do your homework and understand who these people are.
You got to get them on the campus. You got to get them involved in the universities to see the quality of people teaching the classes and the quality of the people in the classes. Because I hear every other day, “I can’t find a quality minority to fill the spot.” But where were you looking? If you’re looking for engineers did you go to North Carolina A&T which specializes in engineers? Did you talk to anyone down there? No. So, how are you doing your homework? So, the thing is that we don’t have enough cheerleaders out there that are pushing HBCUs. Now, we’re beginning to get that. You see Kamala (Howard University grad) in the White House. So, the door is open, but you got to get those supporters to help to get through the door.
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