David Banner says Black students belong at HBCUs

The Mississippi-born rapper/entrepreneur says Black students should attend Black schools

David Banner is on a mission. The rapper and entrepreneur is known for speaking about the advancement of Black issues and Black culture, but what he does behind the scenes is a testament that he’s more than just talk.

Read More: Morgan Stanley to cover tuition for 60 HBCU students

His production company, A Banner Vision, is teaming up with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) for a virtual star-studded concert to help raise funds for their foundation and the students they serve at historically Black colleges and universities. Banner sat down with theGrio to discuss the upcoming event, why he says Black students should only attend Black schools, and why inclusion is overrated.

As usual, Banner wastes no time on small talk and comes right in with the hot takes. He says the fact that Black students even consider predominantly white schools (PWIs) is a disservice to us.

“Books are books,” Banner says from the porch of his home. “We want white culture and white people because we think white people are better, and that is not the truth. We are the oldest people on this planet so how can we look to anybody else to educate us? It’s not a school thing, it’s a mental thing.”

As you can see, Banner is not an advocate for Black students integrating mostly white spaces.

“We are always fighting for inclusion, why do you want to be included where nobody wants you, that is silly,” he says. 

Rapper David Banner onstage during “When They See Us” Atlanta screening at The Gathering Spot on May 30, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Netflix)

He says this is precisely why he started his production company about 12 years ago and that the company has collaborated with brands like Gatorade and is responsible for one of its biggest commercials. The goal of the full-service production company is to create a space where Black people can be treated fairly and people don’t have to beg for inclusion. 

He initially teamed up with the TMCF to do a fundraising song but ultimately took on more responsibility and believes this project is one of his greatest accomplishments. He says through TMCF he was able to hire close to 80 people – 65 of whom are people who look like him.

In celebration of homecoming season, the concert will air on the TMCF YouTube channel, Aspire TV, and Philo. Terrence J and actress Brandee Evans (P-Valley) will host the show while Ne-Yo, Lil Baby, Lucky Daye, Shaquille O’Neal, and Deion Sanders will also be in attendance. 

Read More: HBCU students keeping COVID-19 count low at their schools

“The event was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen,” boasts Banner. “We have to remember this is to send our children to our schools.”

The concert will stream on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!