AJC Sepia HBCU of the Week: N.C. Central University fostered TaKeia Anthony’s purpose

AJC Sepia HBCU of the Week is an occasional series that looks at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

TaKeia N. Anthony is a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she is the first African-American female to earn a Ph.D. in History. She is a two time alumna of North Carolina Central and is currently an assistant professor of history at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla. She is the founder of Dr. TaKeia Speaks.

North Carolina Central University Fostered my Purpose!

I transferred to North Carolina Central University in 2005, after the school I was attending, Barber Scotia College, lost its accreditation.

I did not know anyone on campus and I wasn’t really sure about a major. All I knew was I wanted to teach.

But when I graduated from NCCU in 2007 I had a global Eagle family and I knew my purpose in life.

I was an elementary education major at Barber Scotia, but I wanted to try something different.

My uncertainty was ubiquitous in the admissions office when the counselor asked me what I wanted to major in.

“I'm interested in secondary education,” I replied.

“Ok,” she asked. “What subject?”

“I don't know,” I said with a puzzled look on my face. “I guess I like history.”

So the counselor directed me to my destiny, the Edmonds Classroom Building, to see Dr. Carlton Wilson the chair of History Department. My life was changed from this point.

NCCU and the history department are like no other place in the world.

I immediately gained a new family on campus with my colleagues and off campus with alumni. Eagle pride saturated the city and I quickly recognized that I was now a part of a rich legacy in Durham, N.C.

NCCU does a great job of providing a balanced college experience to produce well-rounded alumni.

The 10:40 break and chicken Wednesday’s kept the campus live and you did not want to miss it.

The athletic events were always hype, the Sound Machine was always rocking, and Homecoming was a big family reunion.

Coming from Kentucky, where I was commonly one of two or three African-Americans in a class, I loved how the diverse African-American cultures shaped NCCU.

We were not all about the social life, however.

During my undergraduate days, we were at center stage of the Duke Lacrosse Case. But we also answered Michael Baisden’s call to action and traveled to Jena, La. to support the Jena Six.

We became familiar with the rally and protest tactics of our grandparents’ civil rights movement as we now had to fight for justice. Student organizations hosted a plethora of programs. Some discussed pressing issues in our communities such as voting, using the N-word, and discrimination.

While others addressed professional development and discussed resume building, interview tips, and professional attire.

NCCU prepared us for greatness.

Our professors are the most respected scholars in their area of study. The history department produces more graduates who earn a Ph.D. In history than any other HBCU in the country, and I am so proud to say that I am one of them.

My experiences, coupled with my education at NCCU fostered my purpose. I am now carrying the torch and following in my professors’ footsteps as an assistant professor of history at the oldest HBCU in the state of Florida, Edward Waters College.

As I reminisce on my time at dear ole NCC, I am so proud to be an alumna and so grateful for being in a sacred space that nurtured me.

I always uphold our motto of “Truth and Service,” and try to donate when I can. I will forever love NCCU.

Thank you for fostering my purpose.